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DIGITAL SAFEGUARDING POLICY
Approved: 2nd April 2022
Content owner: Safe practice
Sew Ready is committed to safeguarding our members, volunteers and staff – and it's our policy to apply the same rigorous level of safeguarding protection to online activities as we do in person.
We have a responsibility to protect and promote the safety and wellbeing of girls, young women and adults as we help them reach their full potential through great guiding experiences. And as part of this we believe it’s important we can demonstrate best practice in digital safeguarding.
The digital safeguarding policy sets out the expectations for all Sew Ready members, volunteers, staff, associated contractors, third party providers and users to ensure the protection of children, young people, adults, volunteers and staff online.
As volunteers and members of staff of Sew Ready it is our responsibility to raise concerns and report safeguarding incidents that happen online, by following the digital safeguarding policy and its procedures. For further guidance on handling disclosures, please refer to our guidance on the 'dos and don’ts' of handling disclosures.
For guidance on putting this policy into practice, please see the digital safeguarding procedures page.
What do we mean by digital safeguarding?
Digital safeguarding means: ‘the protection from harm in the online environment through the implementation of effective technical solutions, advice and support and procedures for managing incidents’.
In other words, digital safeguarding is how we help to keep our members, volunteers and staff safe online, and it’s just as important as keeping safe offline.
Sew Ready is committed to the safeguarding and protection of all members, volunteers, staff and users of our digital services and social media channels, and we apply the same safeguarding principles to Sew Ready’s activities whether they are offline or online.
This means protecting our members, volunteers and staff from online harms such as:
Online bullying and harassment
Sexual exploitation and grooming online
Discrimination and abuse on the grounds of any protected characteristics
Sharing of illegal and inappropriate imagery
Impersonation and hacking
Disinformation and misinformation
The oversharing of personal information
Who is this policy for?
This policy is for Sew Ready, members, volunteers, staff and all users of Sew Ready online services, website and digital platforms – including social media.
What does this policy cover?
This policy explains our approach to protecting members, volunteers and staff, and is directly related to Sew Ready’s safeguarding policy and managing information policy.
It specifically covers all Sew Ready activities, including activities done on behalf of Sew Ready at national, international, and regional levels, which take place online, activities that take place over internet connectivity provided by Sew Ready, as well as activities on proprietary and third party (non-Sew Ready affiliated) service providers, including digital platforms, and devices.
'Digital platforms' includes social media websites and apps such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, but also software and apps such as Microsoft Teams, WhatsApp, Google Drive, and emails. 'Devices' include computers and smartphones. For further guidance look at our digital platforms guidance.
Sew Ready promotes safe use, but we are constrained by third-party service providers' terms of service in our approach. We recognise that some issues will only be able to be handled by the service provider and the user themselves.
Sew Ready’s digital safeguarding principles
Ensure our projects, activities, programmes and campaigns support all of our members, volunteers and staff to stay safe online.
Use best practice digital safeguarding for technical solutions, processes and procedures.
Help our volunteers to support members in being effective online.Take best practice action when a digital safeguarding incident occurs.
Support and train volunteers and staff in digital safeguarding.
Maintain links with key organisations to raise awareness and refer and report incidents.
Risk assess all projects, initiatives, programmes, activities, services and campaigns to make sure digital safeguards are in place.
Support volunteers and staff via our safeguarding structure.
To put these principles into practice, our volunteers, members and staff must:
Ensure that social media accounts are set up and used responsibly, by using disclaimers to make it clear that their views, thoughts and opinions are personal and not reflective of Sew Ready policies, procedures and guidance. And follow all community guidelines and terms and conditions set out by third party social media providers, including age restrictions. For further guidance on digital platforms, including social media, please see our guidance on digital platforms for guiding.
Follow Sew Ready’s code of conduct the same online as they would offline.
Make sure that technical solutions are in place to reduce access to illegal or inappropriate content on devices owned or used by Sew Ready or local Sew Ready units. These could be filtering or monitoring software, such as parental controls.
Ensure the correct permissions are in place before taking and using photographs on mobile devices.
Delete pictures after the event and in accordance with the digital safeguarding procedures..
Make sure that they have parent or carer permissions before contacting any girl or young member under 14 years of age, even if they've contacted you first.
Make every effort to ensure that girls and young members understand why and how they must use social media responsibly and safely using the relevant privacy settings.
Recognise that digital safeguarding is an important part of all our work, and that we are committed to always delivering best practice.
Who is responsible for digital safeguarding across Sew Ready?
The Safe practice department at Sew Ready HQ, which includes the Safeguarding team leads on digital safeguarding in Sew Ready and works with the Digital team on technical content and user advice. The Safeguarding team interprets legislation and makes sure Sew Ready is legally compliant and demonstrating effective safeguarding practice. As a member, volunteer, or staff member, if you know of an allegation, concern or disclosure incident you must inform the Safeguarding team at Sew Ready HQ.
When an incident happens in a unit meeting or a member raises an issue at an online meeting, you must deal with it the same way as other safeguarding incidents. If you aren’t sure about how to handle incidents you should contact the Safeguarding team for support at firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information please see our safeguarding structure and the do’s and don’ts of handling disclosures.
Sew Ready will only share information with other agencies where there are significant concerns, or a potential crime has been committed.
How will breaches of this policy be managed?
Any breach of this policy by volunteers will be managed under the managing concerns about adult volunteers policy.
Any breach of this policy by staff will be managed under the staff disciplinary procedure.
Check these policies for more information.
> Code of Conduct
> Safeguarding policy
Documents and resources that support this policy.
> Virtual meeting checklist and risk assessment.pdf
> Virtual meeting parent carer consent form.pdf
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