Key messages for practice:
- The online activity of children, young people and vulnerable adults should always be considered as part of any assessment. Online activity can be just as influential on safety and wellbeing as face to face interactions.
- Ask questions and be curious about people’s online lives.
- Explicitly explore what devices people have access to and what they do on them.
- Explore with parents and carers what safety mechanisms are in place – this matters just as much in residential placements as it does in the family home.
- Explore how much children, young people and vulnerable adults understand about the issues they may face online.
- The more isolated someone is, the more they may rely on online contact for social and emotional support. This may leave them more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.
- If you notice a change in behaviour or signs of distress, remember this might be related to online experiences. Ask!