1. Do an audit
Create a Red, Amber, Green (RAG) rating of user needs in order to identify what is the biggest risk to your user, such as data security, end-to-end encryption, and so on.
Reach out to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) who have resources to help your charity understand the risks. The NSPCC can also look over your safeguarding policy and offer suggestions.
Use that information to inform how you select your platform. Platforms will vary in how much they may be able to protect your user, so you should assess all potential software and whether they deliver to your highest needs.
2. Train staff
Understand your staff’s capabilities. If your staff are used to interacting with users face-to-face, you’ll need to train your staff on the differences digital delivery shows.
Let staff deliver practice sessions with colleagues prior to working online with young people.
Provide a video and guide in your safeguarding document about what to do if something happens in an online video call that puts users at risk.
3. Reduce risks in video calls
At the start of an online session, outline a group agreement between your charity and your users about how they should protect themselves and others on video calls.
Make sure users understand your expectations of how they should behave throughout their interaction. This should be made clear both before and during the video session.
Ensure there is more than one adult on the call and have a designated safeguarding lead that you can contact if safeguarding issues arise during a session.
4. Keep it iterative
Provide training to staff as and when safeguarding legislation changes. For example, Khulisa staff receive annual and up-to-date safeguarding training.
Review and update your policies annually as a minimum and understand where your policies may need changing through consultation with staff, facilitators, volunteers, service users and their families.
Many thanks to Khulisa for contributing this recipe.
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