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Constable Care and Wangle: working together to keep WA kids safe

At Constable Care, we know that child safety is a complex, multifaceted and ever-changing issue; whether it’s at school, special events, at home or in or around the community, all children have the right to be safe. The importance of keeping safe online is an issue which can be new and confusing to many of today’s parents: their children have grown up as “digital natives”, not remembering a time before the Internet, leading to safety conversations that are unique to this generation.

It can be difficult to explain that the wonder of having this amazing technology at your fingertips can also be fraught with dangers, especially when these were conversations which your parents may have never had to have with you. It’s important to talk about cybersafety with your kids, but it’s also often somewhat unfamiliar territory; but its teaching children essential life skills such as conflict management, risk evaluation, and resilience in the face of adversity, that parents can help their children not only to survive the online world, but to thrive there.

Children using connected devices in the comfort of the family home may seem harmless, but activity online has consequences and impacts beyond the home and that moment. To some, the Internet may not even appear to be part of the real world, but unfortunately as we know, it is. In today’s modern age, security, privacy and online ethics are now a necessary part of parenting, just like road safety and stranger-danger education.

With that in mind, the Constable Care Child Safety Foundation is excited to welcome aboard our newest partner: Wangle Family Insites, an innovative organisation that empowers parents to keep their families safe by recognising and responding to online threats. Wangle Family Insites will be sponsoring our Lost Child Points, a best-practice child safety service designed to ensure that families can enjoy a variety of popular events in WA with peace of mind.

Wangle Family Insites offers a new approach to cybersafety, informed by Telethon Kids Institute’s extensive research into online childhood behaviour. Conventionally, child safety software solutions have involved restricting access by blocking websites, or using spyware to keep a detailed watch on children’s activity online. All too often, these options have resulted in children feeling resentful or that their privacy has been invaded, as well as finding ways to get around attempts at access restrictions or monitoring. To put it in a non-“digital native” context, a child’s mum and dad reading their emails today probably doesn’t feel that different from how you might have felt growing up if mum or dad read your diary; even with the best of parental intentions, it can be difficult for a child to understand why what may feel like an intensely private part of their life is an open book!

Wangle Family Insites offers a holistic solution that makes cybersafety part of the conversation, by comparing patterns of children’s internet usage with real-time behavioural analysis, while keeping their privacy intact. The software informs parents and carers of potential threats, and offers evidence-based information about how to respond to safety threats effectively. This provides the support that parents need to detect safety threats earlier, and make those cybersafety talks easier and more effective, so that your children are better equipped with the skills to protect themselves online.

Teaching children about cybersafety is also an important part of what we do at the Constable Care Child Safety Foundation. Our upper primary performance Screen Name uses the world of online gaming as a backdrop for a timely reminder about staying safe on the Internet, and about how online fun can turn into real danger.

Schools can book this performance by contacting our Arts & Education Coordinator on 9272 0007, or sending us an email.

 

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