Last Updated on 24th May 2022

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Hello and welcome back to Safeguarding Soundbites. If you’re a first-time listener, this is the mini podcast that brings you all the week’s top online safeguarding stories, alongside the latest advice and updates from our safeguarding experts here at Ineqe Safeguarding Group. I’m Iain Jones, Service Engagement Officer at Ineqe. Let’s get started!

This week was the start of Foster Care Fortnight – the annual two-week campaign to bring attention to fostering and reflect on how foster care is changing lives. This year’s theme is fostering communities, so we took a look at how two families in Northern Ireland have embraced fostering. You can find out how their lives have changed for the better through our interviews with them in our online safety section at ineqe.com.

This week was also mental health awareness week and this year’s theme was loneliness, something many people sadly experience every day. Worryingly, research shows that more and more young people are struggling with their mental health, including developing issues like self-harm, anxiety and eating disorders. Visit our online safety section to get more information, advice, and find signposting to further help.

If you’re an avid WhatsApp user then you may have noticed a few changes! Meta have added new features, such as the option to react to messages, and there’s more to come! With upcoming additions, such as the Community and the Companion features, now’s a great time to make sure you’re up to date on WhatsApp and know all you need to know to make sure any children or young people in your care are safer when using the app. Learn more in our article in our online safety section.

In the news, The National Cyber Security Centre has reported a record crackdown on internet scams after tackling more than 2.7 million attempted frauds in 2021, including fake celebrity endorsements and extortion emails. The agency highlighted the increase in detection reflected aggressive targeting, rather than an overall increase in scams.

Instagram is to begin testing NFTs on its platform. Select creators will be able to display their NFTs on their feed, stories and in messages. You can learn more about what an NFT is and how they work – just search ineqe.com for ‘NFTs’.

MPs have called for more to be done to protect child influencers from exploitation. Concerns were raised over children who create online content aimed at other children and who earn income by sponsorship or brand partnership. MPs have asked for investigations into pay standards and making ads in content more transparent.

Ofsted is set to get new powers in tackling illegal, unregistered schools in England as part of the new ‘Schools Bill’. The new Bill will also introduce compulsory registers so that children who are not receiving a full education can be identified.

Teachers’ union NASUWT has begun industrial action following a vote of members. More than 80% voted to take strike action after rejecting a pay offer from employers. The strike will affect duties including overseeing exams, lesson plans and inspections.

That’s all from me this week – thank you for listening and please join me again next week when I’ll be bringing you more news and safeguarding updates. In the meantime, you can find us on social media by searching for Ineqe Safeguarding Group or visit our website at ineqe.com. Bye!

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