June 2020 (Under Review)

Introduction

eXp is a Christian youth project that seeks to change lives, communities and churches in Cowal. To do so it will work to provide the best support, training and environment for all involved to work safely. We seek to ensure that everyone involved with eXp has the fullest opportunity to grow and flourish. Every policy will therefore be planned in partnership with key stakeholders and reviewed to reinforce best practice, learn from mistakes and help us reach our goals. This Online Policy is part of this process.

Goals

• To gain consent from parents/carers for online engagement with their young people.
• Encourage every young person in eXp to connect safely with the online world and to offer a safe online eXp community.
• To promote safe and wise working online to all eXp staff and Volunteers.

eXp Staff, Students and Volunteers Will:

• All eXp staff, under the supervision of their line manager, will be administrators on eXp FaceBook page. Their own personal FB page is separate, and we encourage them to promote values consistent with eXp on it, as we would ask them to do in the real world outside of eXp events.
• Staff, Volunteers, Rookies and young people will be trained and encouraged in online safety where appropriate.
• eXp will uphold the integrity of online content and behaviour.
• eXp will maintain closed groups within FB Messenger such as our Prayer Group, Rookies, Volunteer Leaders or a group going on a trip where we have parental permission to do so.
• Private messaging between any eXp Staff or Volunteers with young people will be discouraged unless absolutely necessary. We realise that this is the only way some young people will choose to communicate and therefore we will seek to gain parental consent for this.
• All online eXp activities will be attended by two leaders who are PVGed (Protection of Vulnerable Groups).

eXp Will:

• Update this policy annually with current good practice.
• Seek permission of parents, updated annually, to contact young people online and for the use of photos or films.
• Ensure all photos to be uploaded only by eXp staff or under their direct supervision.
• Encourage and assist young people on their online behaviour, values based just like in Friday club
• Ensure Facebook pages or threads are appropriate to eXp values
• eXp is willing to work in partnership with local agencies to provide online safety training to young people as needed

If incidents occur, we will:

• Work within our existing Child Protection / PVG guidelines
• Discover why they occurred
• Seek to implement improvements to our practice

 Sources

• Edinburgh presbytery
• Argyll presbytery Safeguarding Group
• SU Scotland
https://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/online-safety/

https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/

https://www.youth.ie/programmes/projects-initiatives/web-safety-in-youth-work/

http://youthworkireland.ie/images/uploads/general/YWI-Appropriate-Use-of-Social-Networking-Tools-Guidelines-for-Youth-Work-Staff-Volunteers-2009.pdf

https://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/13283/Safeguarding_handbook_4.pdf