New online safety resources to support parents and carers during COVID-19

Wed 29-04-2020 11:00 am AEST

The ThinkUKnow program has this week launched new at-home learning activity packs for parents and carers, to address the challenges with children spending an increasing amount of time online.

Supported by real case studies from the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) Child Protection Triage Unit, the age-appropriate activities address online supervision, personal information and unwanted contact, safer gaming and smart usernames, and safer online interactions.

The resources are intended for parents and carers to undertake with their children in their own time. The activities have specific intended ages, but can be tailored depending on different family needs.

The activities form part of a range of initiatives led by the ACCCE, in response to the impact of COVID-19 on online child sexual exploitation and abuse.

The ACCCE is seeing information that suggests offenders will use the increasing amount of time children and young people are spending online, with the likelihood of limited adult supervision, to abuse and exploit them, including finding more potential victims.

Prevention is critical in preventing online child sexual exploitation, and the new ThinkUKnow at home activity packs seek to empower parents and carers to support and keep their children safe online.

Acting Commander ACCCE and Child Protection Paula Hudson said the ThinkUKnow resources are one way the program is adapting to the challenges COVID-19 pandemic brings.

“Unfortunately the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting our business, including the ThinkUKnow program. Although we have had to suspend the delivery of face-to-face presentations, we are committed to finding alternative ways to continue providing online safety education to parents, carers, teachers, children and young people,” Acting Commander Hudson said.

“These resources are one way ThinkUKnow can make a difference — by supporting parents and carers during COVID-19 and navigating the challenges that come with spending an increasing amount of time online.”

“I encourage you all to download and share these resources with your family and friends — we all have a part to play in keeping children safe online.”

ThinkUKnow resources for parents and carers are available on the TUK website.  

Additionally, ThinkUKnow and the ACCCE also launched a #7dayonlinesafetychallenge this week, with daily online safety tasks for parents and carers, to help keep children safe online. The tasks range from reviewing privacy and location settings to identifying your child’s support network, and compliment the at home activity packs.  

You can find out more about the challenge and online safety by following ThinkUKnow on Facebook and Twitter, and the ACCCE on Facebook and Twitter.

Additional resources and activities will be made available via the ThinkUKnow and ACCCE social media channels and websites in the coming weeks.

ThinkUKnow is Australia’s only nationally delivered law enforcement-led online child safety program that provides education for parents, carers and teachers, children and young people to address the issue of online child sexual exploitation.

It is a partnership between the AFP and industry (Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Datacom and Microsoft) and delivered in collaboration with all State and Territory police and Neighbourhood Watch Australasia.