Digital Safeguarding Policy
When it is deemed necessary in light of Covid restrictions, Write By You workshops will take place online. This document provides the guidelines for all workers to keep themselves and the young people they work with safe.
It should be read in partnership with Write By You's main safeguarding policy. (please feel free to request a full copy)
Designated Safeguarding Lead: Sarah Tinsley, project co-ordinator.
COMMUNICATION VIA SOCIAL MEDIA
Write By You will use social media during this time to communicate with young people. Current social media applications include twitter and facebook. Contact with young people through such forums should only take place through organisational accounts. Write By You will not follow young people’s accounts and only invite members to follow Write By You accounts.
If a Write By You staff member receives content from a young person which they believe is inappropriate they will not forward the content or delete it but immediately contact the DSL to report the content and the DSL will follow the safeguarding incident procedure of Write By You (see main safeguarding policy).
Current organisational accounts are as follows:
COMMUNICATION VIA DIGITAL PLATFORMS
When communicating with young people via digital platforms Write By You staff will ensure that the personal numbers of young people and freelancers are not shared.
Write By You staff and freelancers will be the only adults present in Company Three digital platforms. Most workshops will have two adults present. When they don't (and even when they do) all workshops will be recorded for safeguarding purposes.
All parents will be informed of the platforms to be used and the dates and times of sessions and the adults who will be in these platforms.
Write By You Staff set clear rules of engagement for working on digital platforms.
Staff will also remind young people that this is not a private space and whatever they share online will be seen by the group.
Any young person who breaks the above rules will be removed from the platform by Write By You staff and parents/carers will be informed.
RECEIVING A DISCLOSURE ONLINE OR VIA MOBILE PHONE
We recognise that at times, members might disclose information to staff members via texts, calls or digitally.
If a staff member or freelancer receives a worrying message that they think may indicate that the young person communicating with them is at immediate risk during or outside of work hours, they should immediately refer it for action to the DSL, ideally by speaking to them in person (if the disclosure takes place in working hours) or by phone. The DSL will follow the procedure below. If the staff member cannot get hold of the DSL, they should also follow this procedure.
Check with the young person – What is happening? Where are you? The staff member should not attempt to solve the problem.
Contact the young person’s parent/guardian, or – if applicable – the social worker/key worker associated with that young person. If there is no response: Alert the emergency services (in most cases this will be the police) by calling 999 and giving as much information as possible.
Write up an incident report on the situation within 24hrs.
SHARING WORK CREATED ONLINE
When Write By You share work created online we will take the following steps;
Share the final edits with the young people and their parents/carers before sharing.
Not use a child’s surname in photography or video content.
Gain parental/guardian consent for their child to be photographed and videoed
Only use images of children in suitable clothing to reduce the risk of inappropriate use.
Only share content through Write By You’s official accounts. If, for whatever reason, a parent/carer or young person are not happy with the use of content, then Write By You will not share the content.
Guidelines for Write By You members working digitally
During this period of lockdown we want to work digitally to connect, create work and support each other.
In order to do this we are going to use digital platforms. When using these platforms it is important to protect you and your families and follow our online code of conduct.
As always, please remember our Code of Conduct.
Live Video Chat (Zoom)
• Never use your full name, first names and first initials will do.
• Make sure people you are living with know you are on a live video chat. Don’t include them in the chat.
• Wear appropriate clothing, even on parts of you that you think won’t be seen
• Remember it’s easy to misinterpret things online – see our Code of Conduct.
• Refer to a group leader directly if you feel worried about anything
• Do not record or take photos of anything without the others consent. Group sessions will be recorded and stored on a WBY Google drive
It may be necessary for workshop members to submit digital content to you. They will need to abide by these guidelines:
• Don’t use your full name
• Don’t film things that might reveal your exact address, school or somewhere you go regularly (e.g. a sports club or activity)
• Don’t film anyone else under the age of 18
• Keep yourself safe. Your group leaders and assistants will never ask you to share something that feels too personal, complicated or sad.
If you are worried or concerned about anything online or personal during this period please contact Write By You staff; they will listen and find you to the right support.
Write By You Contact
If you need to contact Write By You staff, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah Tinsley is the project co-ordinator of Write By You and will be available during all workshop sessions (in person and online) and from 9am-5pm weekdays.
The mobile number is +447854756753.
We need your help to keep the group safe, which includes the following commitments by you (workshops leaders):
• You will not bully, intimidate or harass any user.
• You will not upload viruses or other malicious code.
• You will not solicit login information or access an account belonging to someone else.
• You will not post content that: is hate speech, threatening or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.
• You will not post unauthorised commercial communications (such as spam).
Protecting other people’s rights
We respect other people's rights and expect you to do the same. You will not post content or take any action that infringes or violates someone else's rights or otherwise violates the law. If you are not happy with how a user is communicating with you online, please let us know immediately by emailing or calling Sarah Tinsley.
Guidelines for Write By You staff working digitally
When communicating with young people via digital platforms, employees will use official accounts and ensure that the personal numbers of young people and freelancers are not shared.
When using video/call platforms with groups of young people, the following protocols should be followed:
• All platforms should be risk assessed in advance and those deemed appropriate for use should include mitigating measures. Risk assessments should be shared with all employees/freelancers who will be hosting sessions.
• Employees/freelancers should use high security settings and facilities of the selected platform to minimise the risk of third parties gaining access to sessions.
• Employees and freelancers will be the only adults present in digital platform sessions unless there is prior agreement for others to be present.
• There will be a minimum of one adult present at every session and the session will be recorded by the employee/freelancer.
• Employees and freelancers should be in a neutral area where nothing personal or inappropriate can be seen or heard in the background.
• Employees need to be present before young people are invited to join an online meeting.
• When the meeting ends the employees should eject each young person until only the employees remain and then close the call, thus ensuring no-one is left alone with a young person and no young people are left in a shared digital space unsupervised.
• In situations where one to one mentoring or creative development work takes place between a young person and an employee/freelancer, prior permission from parents/carers will be required and the meeting must be recorded.
• All meetings that are recorded require all participants’ consent, regardless of their age, prior to the recording taking place. Participants under the age of 18 will require parent/carer permission for this recording. Employees must be specific about the reason for the recording and the way the recording will be used.
• All parents/carers will be informed of the platforms to be used and the dates and times of sessions and the adults who will be in these platforms.
• Employees will set clear rules of engagement for all who are working on digital platforms. These rules will be in line with the rules of the company when working in person.
• Employees will also remind young people that this is not a private space and whatever they share online will be seen by the group and/or employees/freelancers working on the project.
• Any young person who breaks the agreed rules will be removed from the platform by employees and parents/carers will be informed.
Policy created: November 2020
Policy reviewed: February 2022
Review date: February 2023