Bromley Safeguarding Children’s Board highlight online dangers at annual conference

Published Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Keeping children safe online was the theme of Bromley Safeguarding Children Board’s thirteenth annual conference at the beginning of November, this year it focussed on ‘safeguarding in a digital world - how we keep our children and young people safe online.

A strong line-up of presenters included speakers from CEOP (the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) and the Metropolitan Police Predatory Offenders Unit.  The audience of around 150 social care, education and health professionals were particularly moved by a talk from a mother about her son who was groomed and killed by a man he met playing games online. Her messages were very powerful and made a big impact on everyone present.

The day was packed with information from ChildNet, Bromley Healthcare’s sexual health team, Change Grow Live, and the local Prevent team.  Attendees learnt about the dangers and risks the internet poses as well as the benefits for young people and how they can be educated to better protect themselves and their peers.  The event closed with a very well received presentation from Bromley Youth Council and a short film on personal safety they made in the summer as part of their summer campaign.

The attendees who included members of the children’s workforce in Bromley, schools, social care, care homes, health agencies, local authority, probation, local charities and voluntary organisations will spread the messages they heard amongst colleagues in their workplaces, use the recommended resources and work with children and young people to ensure this very important message is heard – ‘safeguarding online is just as important as safeguarding in the non-digital world’.  The ‘Stranger Danger’ message needs updating and our children must be equipped with the skills and confidence to be able to protect themselves and their friends.  Parents, carers and those working with children need to be aware, know how to report concerns and how best to support their children and young people.

To report actual or attempted abuse online, visit www.ceop.police.uk 

If you are concerned about a child and think they are being abused, call Bromley’s MASH Team to speak to a social worker on 0208 461 7309 or out of hours 030 0303 8671.  If a child is in immediate danger, always call 999.

For more advice and free resources visit www.thinkuknow.co.uk, www.saferinternet.org.uk/need-help www.childnet.com.

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For media enquiries , please email susie.clark@bromley.gov.uk