We’re really pleased to be able to share this guidance. Online safety has become an increasing concern and it’s been great working alongside ARC members up and down the country in pulling it together.
The need for the guidance became clear through our new Online Harms training. In the workshops we asked people what their services had in the way of specific Online Safeguarding and Digital Wellbeing Policy. It was quickly clear that there was very little about.
A number of ARC members volunteered to close this gap and several meetings over the summer resulted in this guidance.
In keeping with our Online Harms training the policy guidance takes an ‘Online Positive’ approach. We recognise that, though there are many fears and concerns, the online world is a fantastically positive place for 95% of people 95% of the time. Arguably the benefits it brings are even bigger for people with learning disabilities and autistic people.
Hence the guidance takes as its starting point that banning things is counter-productive. Instead it encourages a risk enablement/harm minimisation approach that is based on working alongside supported people as experts in their own lives.
We really hope that this proves useful and would welcome any feedback.
A massive thank you to all the ARC members (and others) who collaborated on this piece of work.