Online Harms and Grooming: Supporting Adults with Learning Disabilities and Autism to Stay Safe on Social Media: A Workshop for Support Staff

Teenager facetiming friend about puzzles Photo by Tabitha Turner on UnsplashA half-day online ARC England workshop

This workshop is designed to raise awareness of online harms (especially grooming) for those with a learning disability and autistic people. It is aimed at social care support staff.

People with learning disabilities and autistic people are at disproportionate risk from online harms. ARC England’s experience of user-led projects on mate crime, sexual exploitation, and social media grooming turned up a host of alarming stories. Get SMART found that nearly all the young people involved in the project preferred their life online to the ‘real’ world and that the staff supporting them were not equipped to respond to this profound cultural shift.

Often individuals who get into trouble online are simply banned from the use of the internet and social media. This training argues that this approach is ineffective, against human rights legislation and actually counter-productive.  A more mature response is needed. This new ARC England workshop encourages positive engagement with the people most at risk, utilising harm mitigation and risk enablement approaches.

It looks at how to intervene and support those at risk.  The workshop draws on learning from:

Workshop content

  • Background: what are we afraid of?
  • Radicalisation, learning disability and autism
  • ‘Get SMART’ project findings
  • Online harms: what are the risks?
  • Grooming: risk factors, process and indicators
  • What does and doesn’t work?
  • Key tools: MCA and Risk Enablement
  • What next?

The workshop is highly interactive and comprise tutor input, discussions, case studies, polls, small group work and reflections on assignments.

How to book places

Find out when this workshop is running by visiting our Scheduled workshops are held twice a year.


  • £69 (ARC Members)
  • £90 (Non-members)

We can also arrange to deliver this course in-house for your workplace or organisation. To find out more please contact our Training Administrator Denise Adams  [email protected]

To find out more about course content please contact the course tutor Rod Landman [email protected].