ACWA eSafety Project

ACWA is pleased to have been awarded a grant from the Australian Government eSafety Commissioner to develop online safety resources for children and young people (CYP) in out of home care (OOHC), carers, and recent care leavers via a co-design process.

Why? Research shows that CYP in OOHC face different types of eSafety challenges than other CYP, owing to their unique circumstances and vulnerabilities they experience. Our literature scan revealed that current eSafety resources don’t address the unique circumstances of and risks facing CYP in OOHC. Co-designing new resources will elevate the voices of CYP in OOHC and help ensure the new resources cover the right messages, are delivered in a way that resonates with CYP and carers, and reflect the rapidly-changing online environment and how CYP interact with it.

How? We’re going to run a national online co-design process and speak with CYP in OOHC, carers and recent care leavers who each have valuable insights into the ways that CYP in OOHC can stay safe online. We particularly want to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander CYP, CYP who have disability, CYP who are LGBTIQA+, CYP who are from CALD backgrounds, and CYP who live in regional and rural communities.

What? We’ll produce online and paper-based resources that encourage safe online behaviour and good responses to unsafe online situations. We don’t know what these will look like just yet – they might be Tik Tok videos, interactive resources, a YouTube series, carer facts sheets something else – it depends on what our target audience tells us will resonate with them. With our Aboriginal partner organisations, we will produce tailored resources for Aboriginal CYP given the significant overrepresentation of Aboriginal CYP in OOHC and the need for culturally appropriate approaches to be used. We’ll also produce resources for carers, likely in the form of online training modules and fact sheets that can be delivered through existing carer support channels and agencies delivering OOHC, in recognition of the vital role carers play in keeping CYP safe online.

When? Throughout 2021. We’re planning to run the co-design sessions April-June with draft resources ready for feedback from CYP and carers by November.

Who? As well as our co-design participants, we’re aiming to collaborate across the child welfare sector and with online safety experts. We will establish a national Advisory Committee and conduct a range of consultations with peak bodies representing vulnerable CYP and carers across the country to inform how we firstly set up and then run our co-design process.