Essex Safeguarding Children Board launches their campaign for parents and carers to help spot signs of online exploitation over the summer.
As the summer holidays approach and more time is spent outside, away from technology, online safety may be far from people’s minds. However, devices and smartphones are rarely left behind and child exploitation doesn’t disappear for the summer.
Parents and carers must remain aware of their child’s internet use over the summer – as much as any other time of year. Children may see friends less over the holidays due to other family commitments and, if feeling isolated, they may turn increasingly to their devices. This could increase the risk of online harms such as grooming, accessing inappropriate gaming and chat forums, as well as affecting their emotional wellbeing.
Help and resources
From Monday 11 to Sunday 17 July the Essex Safeguarding Children Board (ESCB) and partners are encouraging people across Essex to take part in sharing their online safety messages across their social media.
eSafety Training (The 2 Johns) is hosting 2 online training sessions for professionals and parents on Monday 11 July, covering the latest trends in internet use in young people and how to keep children safe online. For more information or to book your place, visit the ESCB website.
The ESCB website has resources for parents, carers and professionals including podcasts, videos, how to report concerns and information about spotting the signs of exploitation.
By creating a supportive environment, where online safety is discussed in the same way as road safety or stranger danger, children will feel more comfortable to speak openly about concerns they may have.
Support young people and families
David Archibald, ESCB Independent Chair/Facilitator on behalf of the Statutory Partners said:
Raising awareness of exploitation is vital throughout the year and the summer holidays are no exception. Online exploitation is a terrible crime which can have a significant impact on the lives of the individuals, families and communities involved. I am pleased that we are continuing this campaign, along with our partners, to support parents and carers to recognise the signs of exploitation, which are often hidden. Together we can support young people and families to be aware of the dangers and know where to go if they’re concerned.
Reporting your concerns
Concerns about child exploitation can be reported anonymously via Crimestoppers 0800 555111.
There is also a dedicated Police Child Exploitation hotline – for parents, carers and members of the public to seek advice around concerns with regards to criminal and sexual exploitation.
- Call: 01245 452058
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