The internet is a very important part of our lives today and setting up an agreement can help ensure that everyone within your organisation/ group are safe when navigating the online world.
This online safety agreement is designed to be used in a variety of settings, including:
- youth groups and clubs
- residential settings (eg boarding houses)
- other educational settings (eg libraries)
- for professionals supporting vulnerable young people (eg foster carers)
Please note this agreement is to support your organisation in working to keep young people safe online and should never be used in place of a safeguarding policy or acceptable use policy.
What is an online safety agreement?
Similar to the family agreement, the online safety agreement involves generating promises, these are positive statements about how you and the young people you support want to look after each other online and how you should treat others online.
Some of the questions that the online safety agreement template can help you consider are:
- Who do we talk to if we are worried about something or someone online?
- How long will our agreement last for?
- What happens if someone doesn’t follow the agreement?
Who should be involved in creating the agreement?
It’s important to involve all members of your organisation or group as much as possible when developing your online safety agreement. Children as young as three can help you make the promises and talk about why your organisation/group needs them.
As children get older, they can take a bigger part in deciding what the promises should be, as well as helping decide what the consequences for breaking them should be. Pre-teens and teenagers will find it particularly useful to be involved in this process, because it gives them the chance to take responsibility for their own behaviour. Discussing issues around the internet can be a great way to bring out young people’s ideas about how to stay safe and use the internet responsibly.
How to start making an online safety agreement
Begin the agreement by discussing how the group uses the internet. This will help you know which areas to focus on when writing the promises. These areas could be anything from online gaming or the amount of time spent online.
Revise your agreement from time to time to bring the most important promises into the forefront of everyone’s mind and ensure it is always relevant to your current groups needs and internet usage.
You can find the online safety agreement here