Logo: Socialweb Socialwork

It takes a global village to raise a child

Berlin/Brussels, April 9th 2014

Professionals working with children and youths discuss the influence of social work on the online safety of their young clientele

What kind of influence do the internet and digital media have on the identity building and personality development of young people nowadays? What part do professionals working children and youths have and how can they support the online safety of children and youths at risk? These questions were discussed by about one hundred European experts in Berlin on April 8th.

The Stiftung Digitale Chancen, as the coordinator of the project SocialWeb - SocialWork, had invited - together with its partner organisations - professionals working with children and youths and other interested parties to discuss how the influence of social work can be used to ensure the safety of children and youths at risk on the Internet. During the event, the findings of the project were presented and conclusions were drawn to understand how it can be transferred and scaled to other groups of professionals and other European countries.

An African saying explains: It takes a whole village to raise a child. "Nowadays, it must be a global village that takes part in a child’s education," says Jutta Croll, managing director of the Stiftung Digitale Chancen. "We need companies to be willing to already think of safety for children and youths while developing their internet services, as well as the support of the government for setting a frame." "Parents and other guardians need support for media education within the family, while social youth workers are especially needed when the safety of children and youths at risk are concerned", adds Virginia Pareja from the Spanish partner organisation Fundación Esplai.

After a two year phase of piloting and evaluation, the findings of the project show that the approach to train professionals working with children and youths in media literacy and online safety is successful. Knowledge of media usage behaviour and understanding of the online fascination of their young clientele could be deepened and further developed by the training participants of the five European partner countries. Awareness for risks which children and youths are exposed to on the internet has clearly been increased through the training campaign. Six months after the training the awareness of the professionals working with children and youths was heightened by 20% for all mentioned online risks. Plus they are taken into confidence by their young clientele when the need is felt to discuss online problems. "Talking to each other and listen what children and youths have to say - that is what is important," says Gerhard Seiler, designated managing director of Stiftung Digitale Chancen, who took over the torch at the conference.

The final findings of the project evaluation as well as the material and online units developed during the training campaign in six European languages will be available from summer 2014 on.

Please take also a look at the pictures of the conference.

About the project SocialWeb - SocialWork

The project SocialWeb - SocialWork is a knowledge enhancement project in the Safer Internet Programme funded by the European Commission and coordinated by Stiftung Digitale Chancen from Germany. Project partners are Nobody’s Children Foundation (Poland), Fundación Esplai (Spain), Narodni centrum bezpecnejsiho internet (Czech Republic) and RIAP Association (Lithuania). The duration is 24 months from May 2012 till May 2014.
The project is sustained by the expertise of an Advisory Board including (in alphabetical order) John Carr, Dr. Per Christiansen (Hans-Bredow-Institut), Dr. Renata Geležiniene, (Lithuania Republic Special pedagogue association), Loreta Krizinauskiene (Association LIA /Langas I ateiti), Andreas Link (jugendschutz.net), Prof. Sonia Livingstone (London School of Economics), Tink Palmer (The Marie Collins Foundation), Ana Luiza Rotta Soares (PROTEGELES).

For more information, please visit the project’s website under www.socialweb-socialwork.eu

About the Stiftung Digitale Chancen

The goal of the Stiftung Digitale Chancen (Digital Opportunities Foundation) is to make people interested in the Internet and to support them with their steps into the digital world. The foundation wants them to become aware of the opportunities this digital medium offers and to make use of them.
Stiftung Digitale Chancen was founded in January 2002 in Berlin by AOL Germany and the University of Bremen. Co-founders are Accenture and the Burda Foundation. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth have taken on the patronage.

For more information, please visit the foundation’s website under www.digitale-chancen.de

Press contact

Jutta Croll
Stiftung Digitale Chancen - Managing Director
Chausseestr. 15
10115 Berlin
Tel.: (030 ) 437277-30
Fax: (030) 437277-39
E-Mail: jcroll@digitale-chancen.de
Mobil: 0163-5493-773



Further information: http://www.socialweb-socialwork.eu

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