Our Digital World: Children, Young People and Online Safety

This event will explore the benefits and risks of the digital world for Scotland’s children and young people and ask how we can empower the younger generation to be safe online and take control of their digital landscape.

The context

In April 2017 the Scottish Government published its National Action Plan on Internet Safety for Children and Young People. This was followed by the 5Rights Youth Commission’s final report Our Digital Rights in May. In their report the 5Rights Youth Commissioners called for:

'…everyone to see beyond the divide between online and offline, and rethink and redesign the participation, provision and protection of young people in the digital world - starting from the rights that we are already promised. It is a shared responsibility and a shared outcome that benefits not only young people; we envision a world where parents, carers and families across different generations are confident with technology, and can build trusting and open relationships with their young person around their digital use.'

The event

This event will consider the findings and recommendations of these documents and explore how children, young people and those working with them can work together to take control of online spaces and create a safe environment to learn, interact and grow. We will focus, in particular, on the child protection context; considering both the risks that the digital world can present but also how online space can provide valuable tools for engaging with children and young people in a landscape that they own and have control over.

Key issues to be addressed

  • Young people and the digital world: how they use and view the internet and social media and how it intersects with their ‘real’ lives
  • Child protection and the internet: what are the risks and how can we spot online safety incidents?
  • The professional online: managing your online identity when using online opportunities to engage with children and young people on their terms
  • Tackling online abuse and empowering young people – examples from across Scotland


09:15    Registration and Refreshments

Session 1: The Importance Of The Online World… And The Risks

In this opening session we will hear from young people themselves about how they use the internet and social media and the risks and opportunities they have encountered. In doing so they will discuss how adults can work with them to help create a safe online world. We will also look at the latest online child protection information and the implications and opportunities for professionals as they navigate the online landscape.

09:55    Opening Remarks from the Chair

The 5Rights Youth Commissioners

10:00 Our Digital World: The Young Person’s Voice

Tristan Nunn, 5Rights Youth Commissioner

Dev Kornish, 5Rights Youth Commissioner

Rachael Ford, 5Rights Youth Commissioner

10:20 Linking the Online & Child Protection 

  • Draw upon Barnardo’s Scotland experiences of supporting children and young people

Provide observations on:

  • Identifying and Responding to online child sexual abuse and exploitation
  • Supporting younger children
  • Taking cognisance of gender issues in CSE

Daljeet Dagon, National CSE Programme Manager, Barnardo's Scotland

10:40 Sharing Spaces: Children, Young People, Professionals and Online Safety

The session will:

  • Look at what digital spaces are occupied by young people in care
  • Look at the spaces occupied by social work practitioners in relation to safeguarding and risk
  • Look at how both young people in care and social work practitioners can find a common space that promotes online safety and wellbeing

Jenny Simpson, Head of Social Work (England), Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies

11:00 Questions and Discussion

11:15 Refreshments and Networking

Session 2: Taking Control: How We Can Help Make The Internet Safe

We explore some of the practice ongoing across Scotland working with children and young people create safe online space.

11:30 Let's Start a Conversation - Police Scotland's Online Safety and Cybercrime Prevention Approach

Chief Inspector Scott Tees, National Safer Communities - Specialist Crime Division, Police Scotland

11:50 Supporting Young People: Preventing And Responding To Online Bullying 

  • What do we mean by online bullying: defining bullying behaviour and its impact.
  • How can young people be supported  to explore options to manage and cope with online bullying?
  • Exploring the vital role parents and carers have in addressing online bullying by connecting – not disconnecting

Katie Rafferty, Director, respectme

12:10 NSPCC Scotland: Keeping children safe online​

We help keep children safe from abuse online, by ensuring:

  • More communication providers demonstrate best practice in relation to child safety online
  • More children know how to keep themselves safe online
  • More adults know how to keep children safe online 

Joanne Smith, Public Affairs Officer, NSPCC Scotland

New Directions in Child Abuse Prevention

An insight into the partnership with O2 & NSPCC and how the O2 Guru Programme had helped with many concerns with the online safety aspect of the digital world.

John Ramsay, O2 Guru, O2

12:30 New Directions in Child Abuse Prevention

  • The work of Stop it Now in Scotland
  • The real scale of the problem
  • A health based approach to prevention

William Manson, Project Officer (Community Engagement and Community Disclosure), Stop It Now!

12:50 Questions and Discussion

13:05 Lunch and Networking

14:50 Session 3: Protecting children from online risks: what you need to know

In this final session we’ll pull together the learning from the day in an interactive workshop; incorporating videos, a quiz and discussions around online safety scenarios. By the end of the session you will:

  • Understand the breadth of online risks posed to children & young people and professionals;
  • Be aware of issues to consider when responding to these risks; and
  • Know about key resources and sources of support.

Jess McBeath, Online Safety Consultant, UK Safer Internet Centre

15:55 Closing Remarks from the Chair

16:00 Close of Event

*Agenda subject to change


The Law Society, Atria One, 144 Morrison St, Edinburgh EH3 8EX | Map


Delegate Rates (excluding VAT)

  • Discounted rate: £145 (Voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income of less than £1m)
  • Reduced rate: 1 place £245 | 2+ places £195 (Central government departments and agencies, local authorities, universities, colleges, NHS, police, professional associations and voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income over £1m)
  • Full rate: 1 place £295 | 2+ places £245 (Commercial organisations e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP)

For more information please email enquiries@holyrood.com or phone 0131 285 1635

24 October 2017
United Kingdom


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