In the past year, many Canadians have had their work, school, and social lives become increasingly virtual, spending more time online than ever before. While these transitions have been necessary and beneficial in our current circumstances, they have also increased the risks for young people online. This includes more time spent unsupervised online, younger children spending more time online, and social isolation and disconnection for vulnerable children and youth who do not have online access. This increased time spent in virtual spaces has heightened the risks of exposure to harmful content and predatory behaviour.
There has been a recognition of the importance of ensuring that children and youth stay safe online, and a need for child safety-centred principles, policies, strategies, protocols & practices to address these issues of online safety and access comprehensively and effectively.
Respect Group is excited to announce our participation as a member of the Youth Resilience in the Digital Age Coalition, in partnership with the Boys and Girls’ Clubs of Canada and the Canadian Teachers’ Federation, with funding through Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).
One of the goals of this collaboration is to share evidence-based and accessible learning resources with youth, teachers, parents, and other stakeholders across Canada to help youth stay safe and resilient online. We have gathered several resources that are available within our Respect programs to help youth, parents, and teachers talk about the potential harms and impacts of online behaviour and how to step up and step in when we see or learn about harmful or predatory virtual behaviours. Explore the resources below to learn more about how to support children and youth in staying safe and resilient online!
- This module, from our Stay in The Game program, uses youth-friendly characters, animation, and learning strategies to discuss staying safe (both in-person and online). An important focus of this module is on explaining sexual abuse and harassment in developmentally-appropriate ways, discussing the importance of not sending sexually-explicit photos and more.
- This powerful clip discusses the life of Glen Canning’s daughter, Rehtaeh Parsons, and the importance of caution when posting online. The key takeaway is that the internet has no delete button.
- This blog post links to Telus’ ‘Dark Cloud’ documentary, focusing on the life and work of Carol Todd and the Amanda Todd Legacy Society. The blog post contains information on the prevalence of cyberbullying, the harms associated with it, and several resources to accompany the film.
- This handout from the Respect in School program provides a definition and examples of cyberbullying, facts about cyberbullying, and discusses the impacts cyberbullying can have on young people. Additional resources are included at the end of the handout.
- This handout from the Respect in Sport Parent program helps parents to understand cyberbullying and to learn about how to prevent or reduce the impacts of cyberbullying on their children. This resource also discusses what to do when your children are bullying others online.
- This handout from the Respect in Sport Parent program discusses the warning signs that your child may be unsafe online, 10 Online Safety Tips for parents and caregivers, and the steps for reporting suspected online sexual exploitation.