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Workers and Volunteers

Online Safety

The law on images of child abuse is clear. It is an offence to take, permit to be taken, make, possess, show, distribute or advertise indecent images of children in the United Kingdom. Children and young people are skilled in using computers, smart phones and gaming machines such as the X Box, Wii or PlayStation. New Information and Communication Technology (ICT) offers opportunities and knowledge but also new risks and challenges, particularly for children and young people. Online safety issues include:

  • Bullying
  • Addiction
  • Health risks
  • Gambling and debt
  • Child sexual abuse
  • Desensitizing children to violence and intimacy
Over 40 million people in the UK regularly use the internet. Protecting children and young people from tracking, identification, bullying and abuse through computers and mobile phones cannot be prevented by censorship, filters or monitoring alone. Children and young people have to understand the dangers and know how to keep themselves safe. The safety of infants and young children when using ICT is just as important as good supervision of computer and mobile phone use by older children. All professionals, parents and carers will have a key part to play in helping the young people they look after to stay safe on line.

The government has instructed Safeguarding Partnership's to take a lead role in ensuring a multi-agency approach to online safety and has established the UK Council for Internet Safety 

The Safer Internet Centre

The Safer Internet Centre has been commissioned by the European Commission and has set up a national helpline for professionals working with children and young people, specifically tackling the area of online safety. The main areas they offer support include social networking sites, bullying, sexting, online gaming and child protection. The helpline will aim to resolve issues professionals face about themselves, such as protecting professional identity, and also about young people in relation to online safety.
The helpline is primarily a sign-posting, advice, and mediation service, urgent Safeguarding matters should be dealt with as per normal Child Protection procedures. Due to the nature of the service, confidentiality cannot be guaranteed, although anonymity will be protected where possible.
The Safer Internet Centre Helpline
Tel: 0844 381 4772 ( Monday to Friday, 10.00am - 4.00pm)

Internet Watch Foundation (IWF)

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) is the only recognised organisation in the UK operating an internet ‘Hotline’ for the public and IT professionals to report their inadvertent exposure to potentially illegal content online.
Its aim is to minimise the availability of potentially illegal internet content, specifically:
  • child sexual abuse images hosted anywhere in the world
  • criminally obscene content hosted in the UK
  • incitement to racial hatred content hosted in the UK
You can report online sexual abuse and content, as well as inappropriate chat or behaviour towards a child online, from the IWF website. If you see an image of child abuse on the web, please report it at:
​​The Internet Watch Foundation and Childline have come together to provide a service whereby children can request the removal of sexual images of themselves which have been shared online. The child is able to provide a link to where the image is stored online, rather than send the image itself. The child will also be required to verify their identity and age and this is done through the YOTI app ( YOTI will not store images of the child’s ID following the verification process.​

Children who have had an explicit or nude image of them shared online, can have confidential help to get it removed.

They should follow these 3 simple steps:
  1. Download Yoti – The easiest, most secure way to prove identity. Take a selfie and then a photo of your ID, like a passport, to verify it’s you.
  2. Report: Give details of the nude image and where it could be online (don’t worry if you don’t know all the details)
  3. Remove: We’ll then review the details and the IWF will work to have it removed

For more information go to

Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre( works to eradicate the sexual abuse of children, tracking and bringing offenders to account either directly or in partnership with local and international forces. Click CEOP is a Facebook application that helps to promote safer Internet use when using Facebook.


The CEOP ThinkUKnow website provides are range of online videos and games to educate children and young people about safer internet use. This website provides resources targeted for schools, children and parents. 

Childnet International

Childnet International is a children’s charity with the mission to help make the internet a great and safe place for children. Childnet has developed a range of award-winning websites and resources to help provide children, parents and teachers with the information and skills they need to use the internet safely and responsibly. The Know IT All for parents contains advice for parents and carers, and a special section for children and young people 

The South West Grid for Learning

The South West Grid for Learning is a not for profit, charitable trust company, funded by 15 Local Authorities across the South West of England. It provides maintained schools and many other educational establishments throughout the region with safe, secure and reliable broadband internet connectivity; broadband-enabled learning resources and services and help, support and advice in using the internet safely.


The SSP offers a half day classroom based course in 'Keeping Safe Online'. For details of this course please see the training pages.   The NSPCC has recently launched an e-learning course for anyone working with children.  The course is a joint initiative between the NSPCC and the Child Exploitation Online Protection Centre (CEOP).  To access the training click here.