Dialog Box

Things young people wish we knew about keeping them safe

The DO’s and DON’Ts

  • DO acknowledge you may not be the expert in children’s lives.
  • DO recognise our lived experience. Everyone’s experiences are different – even if you don’t personally understand someone’s experiences doesn’t mean they are any less valid.

All it takes is one person to make a difference – safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.

  • DO keep us informed about things that impact our safety. We have the right to know, and we should have the information we need to keep us safe.
  • DON’T just have a safeguarding policy or a complaints procedure in place in an organisation. The children and young people within your organisation need to know what it is and what it means. Implementation is just as important as the document itself.

Information doesn’t have to be words on a piece of paper: there are so many other channels – a video, a poster, a friendly conversation.

  • DO acknowledge safeguarding isn’t a voluntary framework. It needs to be active and intentional.
  • DON’T expect older young people to do the work of supporting younger peers or explaining this isn’t the way it should be.
  • DO understand it is not our job to identify when we’re in a dangerous or unsafe situation. Alongside policies and procedures, safeguarding is guidance and information. We need to be upskilled.
Online Safety
  • DO learn the fundamentals of online safety and support us to share knowledge about online safety without shame and fear.
  • DON’T lecture – we will tune out.
  • DO enable peer to peer communication information sharing – we understand social media and the pace of it.

We use the same vocabulary, we understand each other, the same words resonate and have meaning.

  • DO have more information and awareness as helping people to understand and learn makes it safer for everyone.
  • Share more trans information, more queer education, have more LGBT inclusion and safe spaces.
  • DON’T infantilise disabled people – keep them informed in appropriate ways through appropriate channels.

Be representative of all communities within your organisation and display positive role-modelling.

  • DO start early – education on consent should begin in primary school. Most common age for children to first look at pornography is the primary years.
  • DO include information about respecting each other’s bodies.
  • DO teach autonomy, respect, control and rights over our own body.
  • DO talk about relationships

Explain what a healthy relationship looks like so we can recognise an unhealthy one.

Safe spaces and engagement with children and young people
  • DO create spaces where we feel like we can talk about something without being judged, and what we say is listened to.
  • DO genuinely see us as our own person with autonomy and sexuality.
  • DO try to find people who have similar lived experience to any group of children and young people you engage with.
  • DON’T compare other generations to the current generation.

Trust our experience and acknowledge we understand what is best for us.