Foster Carer Resources – A Guide to Internet Safety
A Guide to Internet Safety
Keeping children safe online is a main priority for any foster carer. It is so important nowadays to make sure young people are safe when they use the internet. That’s why we have put together this handy guide of foster carer resources. The Internet is a hub of information and an ever more sociable place – so using it is sometimes inevitable and necessary for your foster child. However, it is sadly not always a safe place. Keeping children safe online is very important, but it’s even more important to monitor your foster child’s activity. Sadly, when a child is in care they can often be more susceptible to online dangers, such a grooming or bullying.
Due to backgrounds of neglect and abuse, an absence of supportive adults, lower self-esteem, and greater exposure to drugs and alcohol, foster children can be more likely than other children to be involved in risky activities online.The dangers of online technology, from cyber bullying and ‘sexting’ to child grooming and online hoaxes, all need to be thought about when you have a child that uses the internet in your care. Below are 10 of our top tips to pass on to your foster child to help keep them safe when using the internet.
10 Tips to Pass on to Your Foster Child
1) NEVER post any personal information online – like your postal address, email address or mobile number
2) Think carefully before posting pictures or videos of yourself. Once you’ve put a picture of yourself online most people can see it and may be able to download it, so it’s not just yours anymore!
3) Keep your privacy settings as high as possible so your accounts are better protected
4) Never give out your passwords – even to those you think you can trust
5) NEVER befriend people you don’t know
6) NEVER meet up with people you’ve met online and, furthermore, speak to your carer about people suggesting you do
7) Remember that not everyone online is who they say they are, so think carefully about who you can trust
8) Think carefully about what you say before you post something online
9) Respect other people’s opinions, even if it seems like they are wrong
10) If you see something online that makes you feel uncomfortable, unsafe or worried: as a result, leave the website, turn off your computer and tell your foster parent immediately.
Foster Carer Resources
Below you will find links to some really useful websites for you and your foster child. Sit down with them and watch some of these informative videos if you are worried about their online activity. This will allow the opportunity for your young person to open up about any issues or worries they may have about the online world. If you know of any other foster carer resources that we may have missed in this list, please leave a comment!
http://www.netsmartz.org/NetSmartzKids (Various video clips for ages 5-17)