Online Safety & Digital Wellbeing

Sexting, Cyberbullying and Strangers Online - A Webinar Series on how to reframe online safety conversations at home for children in care aged 0-18.

Post by Rebecca Martin, Evolve Education Co-founder 

We witnessed the power of the internet during the COVID-19 pandemic. Technology enabled our young people to stay connected to their school and social communities during a challenging time. The internet presents so many positive opportunities enabling its users to connect, create, and seek help, but it also comes with some risks. 

Latest Australian research from The eSafety Commissioner and Young and Resilient Centre has shown that there are many positives in the way young people are handling themselves online. 

Young people are increasingly seeking help from their trusted adults when things go wrong online. They are also very capable of managing negative experiences online by blocking, reporting and improving their privacy settings.

But the research shows they also need our help.  

The Mind the Gap survey looked at the online experiences of young Australians aged 8-17 and found that of the young people (aged 14-17 years) surveyed, 

45% have been treated in a nasty or hurtful way online

71% have seen sexual images online

47% received sexual messages from someone online

12% met with someone face to face after first getting to know them online

Removing the barriers that prevent young people from speaking up when things go wrong online is one of the most important steps in helping them navigate the challenges represented in those statistics. For example, the threat of punishment, where the young person loses access to their device, is a major barrier to seeking help. Additionally, young people fear that their trusted adult may not have adequate skills to actually help them with the issue they are experiencing.

This is why Evolve Education are so excited to be working with Carer KaFÉ and FCAV to help provide carers with practical skills and strategies to engage in open, non-judgemental conversations (with the young people in their care) to best help them avoid and navigate online risks.

In addition to the interactive online and face to face sessions Evolve have been delivering this year, we have also collaborated with Carer KaFÉ and FCAV to produce two 90 minute webinars.  In these webinars, Deb Collard (Project Coordinator from FCAV) joins Bec Martin and Steve Villani from Evolve Education to discuss the risks children and young people face in care, and what you, as carers, can do to help. These webinars address two different age groups, as children and young people use the internet in different ways depending on their age, interests, and level of access:

  • Online Safety for Children in Care (0-8 years) 
  • Online Safety for Young People in Care (8-18 years) 

To view these webinars please CLICK HERE to visit our Online Safety & Digital Wellbeing resources page.

We hope you find them practical, engaging and empowering. 

 Online Safety quotes

Research from: 

The eSafety Commission (Mind the Gap - Parental Awareness of Children's Exposure to Risks Online)

The Young and Resilient Research Centre (Consultations with young people to inform the eSafety Commissioner’s Engagement Strategy for Young People)

Evolve Education have been delivering digital safety to a range of clients including Victorian primary and secondary schools for several years.  Their expertise is so valued by some of these schools they have entered into service agreements with them to support them with a  ‘on-call’ response when concerning online circumstances arise – for example Sexting (inappropriate images shared by students).  Evolve has the required digital skills to provide advice and implement strategies which limit the exposure of such images.

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