Connecting Safely Online matters to all young people, especially those with SEND, and with their help, we have created advice and guidance to make their time online connecting with others safer and more positive.
What is it?
The website is a space where parents and carers and young people can get advice and support on how to make those important connections online through social media and other platforms safer and more positive.
It covers the first steps into social media, giving advice on what things parents and young people need to consider before opening an account. Do the basics provides guidance on the essential things you need to know to create a safer space to talk and share with others online. Tackle the hard stuff offers advice on how to deal with a range of concerns and risky things that young people might face online.
There is also Helpful stuff and Support that provides links to tools, helpful resources, and organisations that can offer both parents and young people more advice.
Why was it created?
After speaking to parents and young people with additional needs we learned more about what they wanted from us to make connecting online with others safer and more enjoyable.
We used their experiences to help us to create the website in a way that would empower young people to benefit from social media positively and help parents and carers play their part in supporting them.
How it helps young people
All the information is created in a way that is inclusive and accessible for young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). It empowers them to make safer choices about how they share and interact with others on social media and other platforms.
How it helps parents and carers
From our research, we know that parents play a vital role in making sure young people stay safe online. The advice for parents offers practical strategies and tools to help parents guide young people towards opportunities that connecting online brings.
Life online for children with SEND report
This report summarises the findings of the workshops and extensive consultation that we carried out with young people, parents, carers, and teachers to help us to create the advice hub. It highlights how there is a lack of stark and clear advice on how to help young people with SEND safely navigate the online world.
Learn more about the organisations
About Internet Matters
Internet Matters is a not-for-profit organisation that works collaboratively across the industry, the government, and schools to reach UK families with tools, tips, and resources to help children benefit from connected technology smartly and safely.
Youthworks is a consultancy with a focus on young people and their online experiences. We run the annual Cybersurvey to explore this in partnership with Internet Matters. Youthworks conducts a research programme and publishes books, reports and evaluations.
Facebook’s mission is ” to give people the power to share and to make the world more open and connected”, which is why they have contributed and invested in creating this resource to ensure this for all people, particularly young people with SEND. Over the years they have also introduced new technologies, awareness campaigns and new resources to help parents and young people navigate the platform safely.