Thursday, 23 January 2014

Report calls for e-safety forum and joined-up approach by all concerned with internet safety

National Children's Bureau (NCB) director Celine McStravick called for a more co-ordinated approach
The National Children's Bureau (NCB) has published its report and made two core recommendations.
  1. Northern Ireland should create an online e-safety forum to protect young people. 
  2. Organisations should improve collaboration to combat the threat. 
The NCB's director, Celine McStravick, said:
"To achieve this level of strategic coordination we recommend the establishment of an e-safety forum for Northern Ireland. The required level of strategic coordination will not be achieved by one organisation working alone. It will only be possible through effective collaboration across the local key players identified in this  There is a role for an independent organisation such as the Safeguarding Board Northern Ireland to take the lead in developing this forum."
The NCB research was done on the behalf of the Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland. Following the publication of the report, junior ministers Jonathan Bell and Jennifer McCann called on parents to ensure children stay safe when they go online. Mr Bell said:
"I have no doubt that there isn't a parent or guardian in Northern Ireland who would not admit to moments of anxiety about the potential of either social media, or the web, to inflict catastrophic harm on the young people they have responsibility for. The findings in this unique piece of research will be of significant help in addressing how e-safety messages should be relayed in today's fast moving online community."
Belfast Telegraph report here. The BBC report here.

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