This guidance gives procedures that will support and underpin the use of social networking and other online services within BMCC. It is important that all members, staff, volunteers, coaches, officials, board members, or anyone working on behalf of BMCC are aware of this guidance and agree to the following terms.
Advice for Individuals
- Do not accept children as contacts on social networking sites if you hold a position of trust with children/young people.
- Where contact through social networking sites is used for professional reasons, restrict the communication to professional content and obtain written consent from parents prior to establishing contact.
- Include a third party in any communications to children, e.g. copy parents into communications.
- Use the privacy settings on the various sites to ensure that your content will only be viewed by appropriate people.
- Ensure that any content you place on a social networking site is age-appropriate. Do not use the site to criticise or abuse others.
- Know where to direct junior members and their parents for information.
- Know how to report concerns.
- Know how to keep data safe and secure. This should include the personal contact data of individuals, such as mobile numbers, email addresses and social networking profiles.
Advice for Children
- Consider carefully who you invite to be your friend online and make sure they are who you actually think they are.
- There are websites that offer advice about protecting yourself online, such as www.ceop.gov.uk and www.childnet.com
- Make sure you use privacy settings so that only friends can view your profile.
- Remember that anything you post on websites may be shared with people you don’t know.
- Never post comments, photos, videos, etc., that may upset someone, that are untrue or that are hurtful. Think about whether you may regret posting the content at a later date.
- If you are worried or upset about something that’s been posted about you, or by texts you receive from other juniors or adults involved with the club, raise this with your Club Welfare Officer (firstname.lastname@example.org). Do not suffer alone. You will be listened to and your concerns will be taken seriously.
- If you want to talk to someone anonymously, call Childline on 0800 1111, or contact them on the web at www.childline.org.uk. You can also call the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000.
Advice for Parents
- Make yourself knowledgeable about social networking platforms and how they work.
- Go on the internet with your child and agree what sites are acceptable to visit. Regularly check that they are staying within the agreed limits.
- Encourage your child to talk to you about what they have been doing on the internet.
- Make sure they feel able to speak to you if they ever feel uncomfortable, upset or threatened by anything they see online.
- Encourage children to look out for each other when they’re online. Explain that it’s all part of staying safe and having fun together.
- Explain to children that it’s not safe to reveal personal information, such as their name, address or phone number on the internet. Encourage them to use a cool nickname rather than their own name.
- Attachments and links in emails can contain viruses and may expose children and young people to inappropriate material. Teach children to only open attachments or click on links from people they know.
Further Advice for Parents
- If you are concerned about any texts, social networking posts or any other use of communication technology by members of the club, volunteers or members of staff, raise this with the Club Welfare Officer. They will look into the matter and take appropriate action.
- You may choose to immediately report possible online abuse to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) or the police. Law enforcement agencies and the internet service provider may need to take urgent steps to locate a child and/or remove the content from the internet. Where a young person may be in immediate danger, dial 999.
- Do not post/send negative or critical comments or messages about other children in the club, staff or volunteers. If you have concerns about a person, these should be raised using appropriate channels within the club and not using social media.
- If you wish to speak to an external organisation for advice, you can contact the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000.