Dear Parents and Carers,
In these unprecedented times, we know everyone is spending more time online at home, including our children and young people. The Internet provides many benefits in keeping us all connected; however, for our children and young people especially, this can present more significant risks.
The online world can be a bit overwhelming at times but it is important we understand what our children are doing online so we can help make them safer. The Department of Education Northern Ireland (DENI) Safer Schools App aims to help with this.
We are delighted to invite you download the DENI Safer Schools App provided in partnership with Ineqe Safeguarding Group.
About the App
The App is designed to support you, as you keep the children and young people in your care safer online. The app will provide you with information on how you can make your home and their devices safer, understanding Social Media and the benefits and risks of apps such as Snapchat, Instagram, House Party to name but a few. The app also will provide you more information on inspiring healthy media habits and screen time to making you aware of scams and keeping personal information safer online. The in-app safety centre also provide you up to date information on how to block, mute and report anything you or the child in your care may find worrying or upsetting online from images to comments from online bullies or trolls.
Once the app 'SAFER SCHOOLS' is downloaded
SEARCH Department of Education and use ENTRY CODE 7440
The Community Helpline for Covid-19 and the Department for Communities have asked that the information below also be shared. It may be useful to your families.
The Covid-19 Community Helpline went live on Friday 27 March and operates 9am to 5pm, 7 days per week initially, although this will be kept under review and the service can be increased if necessary. The Helpline has been taking calls from members of the public who need advice and support relating to the COVID 19 emergency, initially linking people into local services.
Some of the services which can be accessed via the helpline include: delivery of food parcels to vulnerable people including those in the shielded group who have no other way to access food deliveries; information about retailers offering delivery in a local area; help from the voluntary and community sector to deliver prescription medication and advice on claiming benefits. Advice NI have put in place a detailed directory of community and voluntary organisations at both a local and regional level covering everything from domestic abuse, to mental health to local sports groups willing to walk dogs for vulnerable people. Helpline staff will provide a warm handoff to the relevant service if they are unable to deal with a query themselves, and are aware of the need for a warm handoff to the Nexus service if a caller reports domestic abuse during the course of the conversation.
The helpline is for vulnerable people who have no other method of accessing support. If a vulnerable person already has sufficient support in place, either from family and friends or from a voluntary organisation then they should continue to rely on that in the first instance.
On the question of whether representatives could call the helpline on someone’s behalf the answer is yes, as long as the person has given permission to the representative to share their details and act on their behalf.
The Helpline service also offers e-mail and text message response facility.
Telephone: 0808 802 0020 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Text: ACTION to 81025