NSPCC - Doncaster Safety Net

The Doncaster Online Safety Campaign has been working to support professionals, parents and carers help keep children safe in their online world, to help them feel confident in talking about online safety with the children they know and work with, so that they in turn know that they can always talk to someone about anything that is worrying them. 


NSPCC Offers:

Children love spending time exploring online.

The internet’s a great place for children to learn, create, chat with friends and family, access information or support and explore fun apps, sites and games. But exploring comes with risks, so it’s vital we know how to help keep them safe online.

The NSPCC offers free online safety workshops, Keeping Children Safe Online, both virtually and face to face for groups.

Our Keeping Children Safe Online workshop will:

• Help you understand how kids experience the online world

• Show you resources and tools that could help keep them safe

• Empower you to guide them on their journey

To find out more please visit:  https://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/online-safety/free-online-safety-group-workshops/


Helpful Information:

What are the key risks?

Who they’re talking to

- This includes grooming and cyberbullying

What they’re seeing

- Innocent searches can lead to not so innocent results

- Children are often a few clicks away from inappropriate/harmful content

What they’re ‘oversharing’

- Personal information, location and nude images/videos

- Remember that when young people share online, it may never be fully private

What are the signs of online abuse?se

Children may not know what’s happening to them, so the signs may not always be obvious

Sudden, unexplained changes are usually an indication that something’s wrong

Consider what’s age-appropriate for your child

Top tips 

  1. Start a conversation 

An open and honest conversation is often the first step in keeping your child safe online, it also plays an important role in supporting them if something has gone wrong. 

Talk to your child about what has happened, how they feel about it, and what the next steps are for you to take as a family.  

Keeping your child in the loop about what you are going to do to resolve the situation can help them to feel in control of it and can help them to feel like they can come to you with any future problems. 

  1. Be curious, not furious 

Remaining calm and asking questions like ‘how did you get to that?’ or ‘what did you click on?’ will help you to understand how the content has appeared in the first place.  

Children will often remember the immediate response from an adult – remaining calm and open will show them that you are someone they can turn to for help. 

  1. Try not to place blame 

It may be that your child has clicked on something by mistake or even gone looking for the content on purpose, either way, it is still important to remain calm and be supportive.  

Children are curious and may hear about things from others that they later search for without realising what they will be exposed to. 

Practical tips for starting a conversation about life online 

As a parent or carer, one of the most important things you can do to help keep your children safe online is talk to them.  It can be difficult to know how to start these conversations, so we’ve come up with some top tips.

  1. Be positive and open minded about the internet 

It’s important to recognise the exciting opportunities that going online can offer children and young people. 

Although your children may use the internet differently to you, their experiences are still significant. 

If your child mentions something you haven’t heard of, ask them to show you, or explain in more detail, or you may need to do your own research. 

Try to keep conversations broad, and value their opinions when they’re talking about what they enjoy doing, to show that you are interested in all aspects of their online world. 

  1. Talk early and often 

The most effective way to deal with any online issue is to make conversations about the internet a part of your everyday routine. 

Talking openly about life online from an early age, can be a helpful bridge to sharing safety messages and addressing more difficult conversations later; it also shows your child that you are someone who knows about the internet and can help them. 

  1. Create a safe space for conversations 

Look for opportunities to talk together. Sometimes, talking face-to-face can feel difficult, so talking alongside each other when out for a walk, or travelling in the car for example, are options that might make it easier. 

The environment needs to be right; free from distractions, so that your child has your undivided attention. Remind them often that they can talk to you about anything, no matter how difficult, and that they will not be judged or blamed. 

Your child might not be ready to talk about something straight away, so show them that you are there to listen whenever they are ready. 

  1. Keep it relevant 

As they get older, your children will use technology differently from when they first went online. Their knowledge and understanding will grow too, as will the challenges they may face on the internet. 

To get a sense of how much they know and what support they still need, ask open-ended questions to let your child lead the conversations you have. 

There are appropriate ways to approach all online safety topics with different ages. For example, with a teenager, nude images can be spoken about in wider conversations around consent and healthy relationships.  

For younger children, you could discuss what types of images are okay to share online, and what areas of our bodies are private. 

  1. Be proactive 

Working together to create an agreement, outlining how the internet and technology will be used within the family, is a useful way to set clear expectations and boundaries for your children. 

You might include time spent online; who your children can communicate with; appropriate apps and games; and why safety tools are helpful to block and report inappropriate content. 

Ask your child what they would do if something went wrong online and they needed help and reinforce the importance of telling an adult as soon as anything happens that makes them feel upset, worried, or uncomfortable in any way. 

How to talk about difficult topics 

  • Plan what you want to say in advance and seek support and information if needed so that you feel prepared. 
  • Choose a moment when there are no other distractions, and you are not rushed for time but acknowledge that they might not feel ready to speak straight away. 
  • Consider the best approach to anticipate how your child might react. You might want to directly explain the concerns that led to the conversation or feel that asking some broader questions might be more suitable in the first instance. 
  • Give your child time to process what you are saying and share their thoughts, without interruption or blame. Listen carefully to any confusion or concerns. 
  • Share your own experiences if you can. Were you ever in a similar situation and how was it resolved? 
  • Reassure them you are always there to help and even if you don’t know the answers, you can find these out together. 
  • Get support quickly if they need it. This might be from family, friends, your child’s school or other agencies. 

My child has said something worrying – what do I do? 

  • Let them explain in their own words what has happened. 
  • Remain composed. If you are feeling shocked, angry, or worried, it’s likely that your child is feeling worse, but reacting that way may close down the conversation and lead your child to believe that they are to blame. 
  • Acknowledge the challenges they have overcome and let them know that they’ve done the right thing by telling you. 
  • Be honest. It’s okay if you are unsure what to do next, the important thing is to let your child know you are there for them. There is a lot of further support out there to help you decide on your next steps.  
  • Save the evidence wherever possible. You may be able to report what has happened to the online service being used when the incident occurred. Evidence may include screen shots taken on a laptop or mobile device, emails, texts, or online conversation histories. 

Share the video that the young people of Stainforth - Stainforth Online Safety have created for top tips to keep your child safe online: