We take a look at what charities are doing to help protect children from abuse with the use of digital.
Many initiatives by both charities and social media companies focus on the dangers of the online world for children, but what about the positive potential of digital to help campaign for change, support other charities fighting abuse and lend an anonymous platform for people to get advice and talk their concerns. We take a look at what charities who help and serve children are doing with new digital tools and platforms.
The Lucy Faithful Foundation is the only UK-wide charity dedicated to stopping child sexual abuse. The Stop it Now! helpline is a confidential service available to anyone with concerns around child sexual abuse, whether an adult worried about their own or others’ behaviour or thoughts, children who may have been abused, or professionals involved with children. Along with the phone helpline is an encrypted online messaging service and an online self-help website with advice, legal facts and content aimed at three groups: potential offenders/anonymous users, family and friends and professionals. The language used is straightforward, non-judgemental, clear and the content well researched, so anyone can get help easily and understand the next steps.
Marking its 150th anniversary, UK charity Action for Children’s Choose Childhood is a hard-hitting awareness campaign urging the public to add their name in support of a national action plan to protect children from abuse. The campaign uses several digital platforms in its arsenal for maximum effect: A PDF report explains how the rise of poverty over the last decade is leaving some children without support to face abuse and neglect, domestic violence, poverty and hunger. The online petition and report come alongside a powerful YouTube video.
Thanks to The National Lottery Community Fund Charity groups have been handed more than £500,000 to develop a suite of digital tools to promote safeguarding in the voluntary sector, including podcasts, videos and the delivery of a ‘safeguarding gateway’ on the NCVO’s KnowHow website, in partnership with UK children’s protection charity NSPCC. Aimed at both children and adults, it will help ensure charities’ safeguarding resources will be easily accessible to anyone across the sector dealing with potentially vulnerable people, from small organisations to large charities - watch this space.
UK charity The Children’s Society has launched an online interactive map so that people in England can see the extent of funding cuts to children’s services in their area. The interactive map has been launched as part of a research project by a group of children and young people’s charities to highlight the impact of austerity and rising demand for care services on council’s children’s services budgets. This shocking analysis lays bare the enormous scale of the funding challenge, which the charity says is making it "near impossible" for councils to offer vital early support to children and young people to prevent problems like domestic abuse and neglect. Other charities involved include Action for Children, Barnardo’s, NSPCC and the National Children’s Bureau.