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David Cruchley from Oxfordshire Youth has developed some practical tips on delivering safeguarding training to young people.
There is great power in young people receiving Level 1 and 2 safeguarding training. One of the most effective tools for ensuring young people live well and safely in their daily lives is their peer relationships. Young people that attend safeguarding training have spoken of the way their awareness of their surroundings, relationships and those of their friends improves as a result of attending training.
Safeguarding training requires participants to engage with sensitive content that is true to life. This is fundamental to its effectiveness. It is highly likely that some participants will have experienced some of the behaviours or themes explored by the training. When delivering to a group of young people, it may also be the case that, by learning about these themes, the young people recognise their own experiences in ways they had not previously considered and therefore need to make a disclosure or speak to a professional afterwards.
It is our hope that some of the tips below will help Trainers to deliver to groups of young people safely and in a way that enhances the effectiveness of the learning.
Prior to the webinar:
- Meet with the professionals working with the young people to ensure that the nature of the content covered in the webinar is understood. If you are delivering to a group, it may be helpful for you to attend an informal chat with the young people a week or so before the webinar to discuss with them what will be covered. This will give them an opportunity to pick up any issues with their professional prior to attending.
- Ensure the supporting professionals are aware of the nature of the e-learning if the young people have not already completed it. They may choose to sit with the young person to complete the e-learning.
- Make sure that you have been briefed by the professional regarding any known safeguarding themes that may become apparent during the webinar.
- Only give the meeting link to those registered to attend. You can do this by using an event management system like Eventbrite to manage sign up/registration and only send the link to those registered to attend.
- Make sure that young people under 18 that attend are known to at least one supporting adult also present. This is so that they can be supported before, during and after the meeting.
- Ensure that at least one supporting professional for the group attends.
- Plan the webinar timing so that you and the supporting professional can remain available at the end if there are any conversations that need to be had.
During the webinar:
- At the outset of the session ensure that everyone understands that the content covered will be sensitive and true to life and that it may be that participants wish to speak to you or the supporting professional after the session.
- Keep a keen eye on the chat and the video to pick up on any signs of discomfort.
- Have a clearly agreed protocol for if a young person chooses to not have their camera on. For example, ensuring that the supporting professional has a mode of contact with the young person separate to the webinar platform so that they can check in with them directly.
- Take it slowly. Give the participants the chance to think, consider and reflect on the information they are receiving.
- Ask for feedback as you go. Call on people that have not spoken often to ensure they understand the content you are portraying. This will help you pick up on signs of distress or discomfort.
- Finally, make sure that you have time to stay online at the end of the webinar to pick up an conversations that participants require.
After the webinar:
- As well as your usual post-webinar admin, make sure you send a message of thanks to the young people.
- In your email, make sure to signpost to the phone numbers of the agencies that can support them if they need it and remind them to speak to their DSL or professional if there is anything they are concerned about.
- Offer, if appropriate, to be available for a follow up chat about any of the content that a young person may want clarified. DO this in partnership with a supporting professional.
- There is a possibility that you will be the professional that a young person feels comfortable making a disclosure to. Be prepared for this and make sure that you communicate any disclosure to the supporting professional unless that is not appropriate i.e. an allegation is made against them specifically.
If you have any comments or would like to suggest your own tips for good practice, please email: email@example.com