Safeguarding Children On-Line Policy

Keeping Children Safe

Policy Statement
Student Community Action (SCA) believe that all children have the right to enjoy the activities and services of SCA in a happy, safe, secure environment.

We have developed an Safeguarding Children Online Policy to bring us up to date with current safeguarding policy and to fully protect our clients, volunteers, staff and Executive Committee.

Student Community Action will implement this policy by adding it to our policies on the Website and informing volunteers of its location. We will add the information to our Safeguarding Children Training and share the information with our Steering Group and Executive Committee.

This policy applies and relates to all staff and volunteers, and people who use our projects. It should be used in addition to our full Safeguarding Children Policy.

This Safeguarding Children Online Policy and its implementation is to be reviewed each year.

The Internet
The purpose of Internet use at Student Community Action is to find resources and information to improve our services. The Internet is an essential element in 21st century life.

Student Community Action staff have access to the internet in the offices and on the SCA laptop and will use the internet for work use only.

If volunteers use the internet during befriending visits to our clients, they should do so with the child’s parents permission and should immediately report any sites visited that may be classed as inappropriate. They are encouraged to place the computer / laptop / tablet in a place where others can see it rather than out of sight.

Published Content
The only contact details on the SCA website or social media sites are the office address, e-mail and telephone number. Clients, staff and volunteers personal information is not published. The manager or nominee will take overall editorial responsibility and ensure that content is accurate and appropriate.

Photographs that include clients are selected carefully and do not enable individual clients to be clearly identified. Clients’ full names are not used anywhere on the Web site, particularly in association with photographs. Written permission from parents or carers is obtained before photographs of clients are published on the SCA Web site or social media sites.

Social Networking
Student Community Action acknowledge that social networking sites can be hugely beneficial in recruiting volunteers for SCA events and projects. They are also used for informing active volunteers of news and reminding volunteers of training or project information.

Advice is given to project leaders about what is acceptable to put on social networking sites which have been set up in association with SCA . This includes informing project leaders that social networking sites for projects should be kept closed to active volunteers and photos of clients should not be put on without obtaining written permission from parents.

Volunteers must not communicate with clients through private social networking sites, but should communicate through the client’s parents unless parents have given permission for the volunteer to communicate directly with the client through text message or mobile phone.

Mobile Phone and IT use during SCA Projects
Volunteers are advised that use of mobile phones while working on SCA projects should be kept to a minimum and photos should not be taken on their mobile phones or any other camera without the permission of the child’s parent.

Clients should be discouraged from bringing any IT or phones to SCA sessions or events. If a child brings an item to a session, they should be encouraged to hand them in to a responsible adult for safe keeping during the session.

e-Safety Complaints
Formal complaints of Internet misuse or safeguarding children online issues are dealt with by the manager of Student Community Action.

Policy Written by Caroline Ward, SCA Manager