‘Helping kids thrive in the digital age isn’t just about online safety’
Parent Info editor Eleanor Levy explains how the free advice and information service for parents is helping families deal with the challenges of the digital age
Helping kids thrive in the online world isn't just about online safety.
Parent Zone CEO Vicki Shotbolt once described Parent Info as ‘digital PSHE’ and I think this is a great way to sum up what we do.
The advice we offer parents from our army of experts provides so much more than standard information on privacy settings or screen time (though parents will find these too, of course).
Instead, Parent Info looks at a huge range of issues caused or amplified by the online world, while avoiding the kind of 'ohmigod the internet is EVIL' editorialising of many.
‘We bring experts into your home’
The great thing about Parent Info, apart from the quality of its expert contributors, is how the information is delivered.
Schools sign up for free and then host the content on their own website. They can also adapt it in any way they think will help, such as using the content in letters home, or as discussion topics in class. For parents of children whose schools haven't yet signed up (and if not, why not?) all our expert advice is available via the website, ParentInfo.org.
We offer a one-stop shop for help and information on a huge range of topics - and parents don't have to spend hours searching for what they need; we bring experts into your home via your phone, tablet or laptop.
In the two years since Parent Info officially launched in September 2015, we've covered subjects as diverse as selfies, vlogging, peer pressure, suicidal thoughts, body image for girls (and boys), and viral internet trends such as Blue Whale and planking. Whether it's information on why video games ratings are so important, or highlighting apps that can help children cope with divorce, Parent Info covers it.
A unique insight
Parent Info is a collaboration between Parent Zone and CEOP, the child protection branch of the National Crime Agency, and both partners bring their own experience and expertise to the service.
As a command of the police's National Crime Agency, CEOP has a unique insight into areas such as online child sexual abuse and grooming, and its work on Parent Info complements its excellent ThinkuKnow website, offering advice direct to children and young people, as well as adults.
Parent Zone is the official parent organisation represented on the UK Council for Child Internet Safety and its CEO Vicki Shotbolt is co-chair of the UKCCIS Digital Resilience Working Group.
As the full title of our 2017 conference suggests (Digital Families 2017: Digital Resilience: Supporting Families, Empowering Young People) digital resilience is key to helping children and young people thrive in the modern world, which is why we are bringing a stellar list of experts to London on 12 October to discuss the issue.
We'd love you to join us.