Online safety and social media policy


This policy provides guidance on how our organisation uses the internet and social media, and the procedures for doing so.  It also outlines how we expect the staff and volunteers who work for us, and the children and young people who are members of our organization to behave online.


The aims of our online safety policy are:

  • To protect all children and young people involved with our organization and who make use of technology while in our care
  • To provide staff and volunteers with policy and procedure information regarding online safety and inform them how to respond to incidents
  • To ensure our organisation is operating n line with our values and with the law regarding how we behave online

Understanding the online world

As part of using the internet and social media, our organisation will:

  • Understand the safety aspects – including what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour for staff, children and young people
  • Be aware that it doesn’t matter what device is being used for digital interaction, but that the same safety aspects apply whether it is a computer, mobile phone or game console
  • When using social media platforms ensure we adhere to relevant legislation and good practice guidelines

Managing our online presence

Our online presence through our website or social media platforms will adhere to the following guidelines:

  • All social media accounts will be password protected, and two members of staff will have access to each account and password
  • The account will be monitored by a designated person
  • the designated person will remove inappropriate post by children, young people or staff, explaining why, and informing anyone who may be affected
  • identifying details such as a child’s or young person’s home address, school name and telephone number shouldn’t be posted on social media platforms
  • any posts or correspondence will be consistent with our aims
  • parents will need to give permission for photographs or videos of their child to be posted on social media
  • all our accounts and email addresses will be appropriate and fit for purpose

What we expect of staff and volunteers

  • staff should be aware of this policy and behave in accordance with it
  • staff should communicate any messages they wish to send out to children and young people to the designated person responsible for the organisation’s online presence
  • staff should not ‘friend’ or ‘follow’ children or young people from personal account on social media
  • staff should make sure any content posted is accurate and appropriate, as children and young people may ‘follow’ them on social media
  • staff should not be communicate with young people via personal accounts of private messages
  • rather than communicating with parents through personal social media accounts, staff should choose a more formal means of communication, such as face-to-face, in an email or in writing or use TYG mobile telephone for text
  • at least one other member of staff should be copied into any emails sent to children or young people
  • emails should be signed off in a professional manner, avoiding use of emojis or symbols such as kisses
  • any disclosures of abuse reported through social media should be dealt with in the same way as face-to-fac disclosure, according to our reporting procedures
  • smartphone user should respect the private lives of others and not take or distribute pictures of other people if it could invade their privacy
  • staff, children and young people must not engage in ‘sexting’ or send pictures to anyone that are obscene, indecent or menacing

When using mobile phones or other digital technology to communicate

When using mobile phones (or other devices) to communicate by voice, video or text (including texting, email and instant messaging), we will take the following precautions to ensure young people’s safety:

  • staff will avoid having children’s or young people’s personal mobile numbers and will instead seek contact through parent or guardian
  • we will seek parental permission on each occasion we need to contact children or young people directly, the purpose for each contact will be clearly identified and agreed upon
  • a method of accountability will be arranged, such as copies of texts also being send to the or to the group’s lead or to parents
  • staff should have a separate phone from their personal one for any contact with parents or young people
  • texts will be used for communicating information – such as reminding children or young people about upcoming evets which kit to bring or timings – and not to engage conversation
  • if a child or young person misinterprets such communication and tries to engage a staff member in conversation, the member of staff will take the following steps:
    • end the conversation or stop replying
    • suggest discussing the subject further as the next session
    • if concerned about the child or young person, provide contact details for the club’s lead welfare officer or appropriate agencies

The principles in this policy apply no matter which current or future technology is used.

Further information for parents and carers on keeping children safe online

NSPCC/O2 Helpline 0808 800 5002 –

Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) –

Childnet – www.childnet.comThe UK Safer Internet Centre –