30 years of child safeguarding experience has shown us very clearly that the risk of abuse and harm to children has moved to the online environment. It co-exists with the risks that we already know about in physical environments.
Our digital safeguarding technology practice is focused on innovation in taking on child safeguarding challenges that may appear unsolvable, which have been exacerbated by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Moreover, our focus is on empowering children and young people to enjoy the benefits of using technology without compromising their rights, safety and overall wellbeing.
What does our digital safeguarding practice cover?
Why don’t we talk about “child safeguarding online”? Digital safeguarding is much more than safety when children are users of social media. Children and young people tell us about the risks they face with text messages, online gaming and other forums that don’t necessarily see them ‘online’ in the way you might ordinarily perceive. Our digital child safeguarding practice covers all of these aspects.
However, more than safeguarding children as consumers of technology, our practice also covers prevention and intervention of the horrific and insidious production and access to child sexual abuse material by offenders.
Importantly, we know that asking children and young people to abstain from technology is not the answer. Quite the opposite. For many children and young people, technology is their vehicle for safety. Young people have told us they disclose abuse using some of our partner apps, that they would never have disclosed prior to the advent of mobile devices. Technology is also a magnificent platform to advance and amplify their voice, empowerment and participation as equal partners with adults in society!
What does digital safeguarding involve?
Technology as a vehicle for disclosures and child voice
We believe enabling children and young people to raise concerns and have a voice in what makes them feel safe or unsafe is imperative. Therefore, a key focus of our digital safeguarding practice is to empower them with digital tools that they can use to do so in a way that is easy and accessible at all times. Child Wise has partnered with Mind Of My Own, a UK-based world leader in co-designing apps with young people for young people.
Safeguarding children as digital consumers
Child Wise is a trusted adviser to major social media platforms and tech-providers on safeguarding their products. We provide expert guidance in implementing safeguarding mechanisms to ensure that children and young people that use social media platforms and tools are protected in doing so.
Interception of abuse
With businesses and organisations moving their services online due to COVID, we saw an increasing number of corporate devices being used to access or distribute online abuse material.
In 2020, Child Wise partnered with NetClean, a Swedish tech company, to provide organisations with unique technology that is capable of detecting the use, creation and distribution of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) on corporate devices. Child Wise has engaged with Australian law enforcement to accelerate the introduction of world leading workplace interception technology for the first time in Australia and the surrounding region.
Through our partnership with Oho, we are able to support organisations with workplace detection of workforce breaches to pre-employment working with children checks and other industry accreditations.
Prevention: Thought Leadership and Education
Young people are majority users of social media, yet we find that their voices are missing from the debate on how social media impacts their safety, health and wellbeing. Child Wise is working in partnership with House of Muchness, a centre for creativity for young people, to provide a platform for young people to be heard about issues that affect them directly and on a daily basis.
We are thrilled to announce, 'Like This’, a unique, child-led project that will bring young people to the table in relation to the impact of social media on their safety and wellbeing.
Save the date Thursday, 28 Oct 2021 for a film screening followed by a Q&A with the young participants in the film to give you an opportunity to ask them questions firsthand.
Speak to us about digital child safeguarding
Our child safeguarding experts can help you assess the needs of your staff and your organisation. Contact us to find out more.