PROTECT KIDS ONLINE

Child protection is everyone’s business

In light of Child Protection Week (1-7 September), we are urging Australians to take the necessary steps to protect children online.

According to Dr Katrina Lines from Act for Kids, it is a new age of parenting. “Easy access to age-inappropriate content is a major factor in influencing young minds. So, education is crucial! It’s time we start a conversation about the material our kids might be accessing, or that someone else might be showing them.”

The internet can be accessed from almost anywhere, so protecting kids is everyone’s business. Games, apps, social networking, and texting are increasingly popular among children and adults alike.

It can be challenging to supervise a child’s exposure to inappropriate content online but it’s vital that we model appropriate behaviour and communicate the importance of online safety to help keep kids safe.

Our research reveals three quarters of Australians believe online content is the biggest cause of inappropriate sexual behaviours, yet two-thirds of parents fail to secure their devices and one in two allow their children unsupervised access online.

Did you know?

Three steps to help protect kids online…

1. Secure household devices by setting passcodes and restrictions on all devices (smart fridges, gaming consoles and Google Home!)

  • Restrict household devices’ search terms, privacy settings and implement filtering systems.
  • Check who has the ability to share material with your child (e.g. Airdrop)

2. Supervise children online and monitor the material they are accessing

  • Identify specific locations for internet use within the home; keeping devices in a shared family area
  • Regularly check their privacy settings and internet search limitations as well as yours
  • Limit daily screen time
  • Establish what may be identified as inappropriate posts on online profiles

3. Sit Down and have an open conversation with your child about the material they may see online

  • Less is more – have multiple short chats and discussions
  • Discuss consensual relationships and the difference between reality and fantasy (e.g. real life relationships V pornographic fantasy)
  • Be open about expectations to create boundaries and to build trust

eSafety Resources

The Office of the eSafety Commissioner is committed to empowering all Australians to have safer, more positive experiences online.

Let’s help kids deal with the big issues in online safety, such as cyberbullying, online pornography, sending nudes and sexting, time online, gaming and unwanted contact.

What are some of the big issues?

Advice for parents and carers

Explore the following links for more information

Child Protection Week 
theline.org.au
Itstimewetalked.com.au
Esafety.com.au
true.org.au

JOSH'S STORY

Josh uses porn to feel accepted amongst his friends.

His babysitter showed him porn

Josh was first exposed to porn by his babysitter and her boyfriend who thought it was funny to show him. Josh was then suspended four times for sharing porn with friends and watching it on his phone at school. Josh is a keen gamer and enjoys R rated games that include degrading depictions of women, and playing “Pimps & Ho’s”.

Josh’s mother turned off the internet to try and stop his gaming and porn use. However, this didn't work.

How we helped

Josh came to Act for Kids when he was 14 years old. Our Sexual Abuse Counselling Service (SACS) team worked with Josh and his family to address his past experiences, and sexual behaviour with other children.

Josh's parents agreed to put filters on his devices and monitor his internet use. They talked to Josh about what he was viewing online and the difference between fantasy and reality. In therapy sessions, it was discussed why Josh was suspended and how to build social skills as a way of making friends.

The road ahead

Josh has come a long way, but sadly he still struggles with his explosive temper and anxiety. He is more comfortable talking to his parents about internet use and the material he sees online.

His story really highlights the importance of supervising your kids online, securing their devices and having open conversations about what they might see online.

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Referral

If you have any questions or would like to access our free counselling and support, please call us directly to discuss or make an appointment.

Completed referral forms can be accessed from the services section on our website and email to
mail@actforkids.com.au or call 1300 228 000

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Referral Services

If you have any questions or would like to access our free counselling and support, please call us directly to discuss or make an appointment.

Completed referral forms can be accessed from the services section on our website and email to
mail@actforkids.com.au or call 07 3850 3200

  • Drop files here or