It was a full house at the Cyber Protect & Young People conference this week with one hundred teachers, social workers, youth workers and other professionals with a role in safeguarding young people coming together to find out more about the potential risks online and the resources available to help them support young people, and their families, to navigate the digital world safely.
The day opened with a short scene setting from the Police and Crime Commissioner about the national context of online safety and the Chief Constable sharing her perspective as national lead for Children and Young People, reflecting the leading role Hampshire plays in mitigating this vulnerability.
Michael Lane said:
“Our children are playing their lives out online for all to see and this is having an impact on their mental health and safety.
“Every day we hear a different story about how young people are seeking validation online -how their perceived social status relies on ‘likes’, the devastating impacts that cyberbullying can have or the humiliation and trauma caused by sexting and revenge porn.
“It is really important that we seek to understand the pressures young people are under so we can provide the right advice, and the right support that will help them avoid being exploited or put at risk, while enabling them to make the most of the opportunities technology brings.”
Key speakers included:
Michael Lane added: “I am very proud of the work my Youth Commission has put into creating and delivering the Cyber Ambassador scheme. I am looking forward to hearing from some of the schools that have taken part when they come together on Internet Safety Day (6 February) to share their experiences and thoughts on how the scheme has positively helped their pupil stay safe.”