Research and insights

Inclusive Digital Safety advice hub

Understand the level of risk that exists for certain children and how insights can help you intervene in a meaningful way. This section features factsheets summarising existing research to provide evidence of links between vulnerabilities and online risk and harm.

What’s on the page

Insight Factsheets

These factsheets provide a summary of evidence from the Vulnerable Children in a digital world research report which suggests that people with offline vulnerabilities are more likely to encounter risks online. The insights from this research can be used to ensure that young people living with vulnerabilities are given the relevant, proactive, and nuanced support they need to connect safely online.

Want to know more about how we are supporting vulnerable children online? See our latest blog.

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Watch videos to get insight from research

Parents and carers’ short summary of what’s in the research factsheets
Display video transcript
Knowledge is key when it comes to ensuring all young people benefit from connected technology safely.

That's why we've created a range of factsheets to help parents, foster parents, and carers identify potential increased risks that children with additional needs, disabilities, or certain lifestyles may face online. Throughout the Inclusive Digital Safety hub you’ll also find advice on how to minimise the chance of the risk turning into actual harm.

What the research tells us

From our research, we know that children and young people already facing offline vulnerabilities, are more likely to face risk and harm online.

As children and young people’s offline vulnerabilities can be used as a predictor for the types of online risks they'll be more likely to experience, this gives us the opportunity to intervene early on and provide them with the right support and advice to help them stay safe online.

What's inside the factsheets?

The factsheets are based on the Vulnerable Children in the Digital World research report and the 2019 Cybersurvey, both produced with Youthworks which cover insights on what high risk online scenarios can be predicted for children and young people with:

Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)
mental health difficulties,
communication difficulties
and those in care

You'll find examples of the risks that can be predicted for each group to be better equipped to empower children and young people to make safer choices online.

Short summary of what’s in the research factsheets for professionals
Display video transcript
Knowledge is key when it comes to ensuring all young people benefit from connected
technology safely.

That's why we've created a range of factsheets to help professionals identify potential increased
risks that children with additional needs, disabilities, or certain lifestyles may face
online. Throughout the Inclusive Digital Safety hub you’ll also find advice on how to minimise the
chance of the risk turning into actual harm.

What the research tells us

Insights from Internet Matters research with parents and the Cybersurvey with children tells us
that children and young people experiencing offline vulnerabilities are more likely to face risk
and harm online.

As children and young people’s offline vulnerabilities can be used as a predictor for the types of
online risks they'll be more likely to experience, this gives us the opportunity to intervene early
on and provide them with the right support and advice to help them stay safe online.

It’s important to note that a one size fits all approach to online safety education will not suit
vulnerable children and young people. Applying a three-tier model that involves moving from
universal support to targeted and then to intensive for those most at risk is key.

What's inside the factsheets?

The factsheets are based on the Vulnerable Children in the Digital World research report and
the 2019 Cybersurvey, both produced with Youthworks which cover insights on what high-risk
online scenarios can be predicted for children and young people with:

● Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)
● mental health difficulties,
● communication difficulties
● and those in care.

You'll find examples of the risks that can be predicted for each group to be better equipped to
empower children and young people to make safer choices online.

Published research

Below we’ve highlighted a range of existing research that provides further insights into the impact of online risks on children experiencing offline vulnerabilities.

Making the internet safer and more inclusive

Together with SWGfL we've created this hub to provide online safety advice and guidance to support parents & professionals working with children and young people experiencing vulnerabilities.

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