Last Updated on 11th March 2022

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Hello and welcome to Safeguarding Soundbites, the bite-sized podcast that brings you snapshots of the latest in online safeguarding news, as well as a weekly round-up from our online safety experts.

The recent Russian invasion of Ukraine has taken over media attention and national concern. It’s hard not to be filled with uncertainty and heartache every time you switch on the news or look at your phone. While we are all struggling to process this news, it is especially concerning for children and young people. To help you understand how this distressing news might be affecting the children in your care, you can find our guide on Talking to Your Child About the War in Ukraine in our online safety section at saferschoolsni.co.uk.

Do you want to have more supportive conversations with the children in your care about world events or local issues, but just aren’t sure where to begin? Our online safety experts have created a new shareable resource on Having Supportive Conversations. This will help you feel more confident and prepared for these discussions, whether they happen at home, in the car, or during the weekly Tesco shop! You can find this in our online safety section and remember to share it with your friends and colleagues to encourage them with this important advice.

In the news this week,
YouTube announced it’s expanding its warnings on potentially offensive comments to desktop. The feature detects potentially offensive responses and gives users a chance to review and reconsider their comment before posting. It will also link users to why this comment would potentially break their community guidelines. This feature was first launched by YouTube on their mobile app in 2020, with the aim of encouraging respectful behaviour and protecting users on the platform.

The Belfast Telegraph reported that the Autism Amendment Bill was passed at the NI Assembly, which will introduce autism information services and a cross departmental autism training strategy. This legislation aims to address the challenges in accessing pre- and post-diagnosis support for autistic children and adults in the country. There will also be a requirement for the Department of Health to make provisions for regionally consistent adult autism services and early intervention services.

The Department of Health has released figures which show that the number of young unaccompanied refugees arriving in Northern Ireland has risen over the last few years. They have launched an urgent appeal for foster carers to step in and provide care for these young refugees, as the number of people offering fostering services has dropped. Over 60 young people seeking asylum have been placed in the care system within the last year alone, the highest number ever on record according to the BBC.

And finally, this week there was a change to school curriculums in Northern Ireland as new training on CPR and the use of defibrillators has become mandatory. This is part of a wider package to provide training and resources to support CPR training in key stage 3. The Department of Education is working closely with the British Heart Foundation and the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service to provide this training to children and young people.

That’s all for this week! If you enjoyed Safeguarding Soundbites, why not share it with your friends, family and colleagues to help make everyone’s world a little safer. We’ll be back next week. In the meantime, stay up to date on the latest in safeguarding news through our website – saferschoolsni.co.uk.

Thanks for listening, and stay safe.

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