Engaging young people is tricky at times. But engaging them about sexual exploitation is another thing again!
But recent news stories like the Rotherham scandal illustrate just how important it is for us to try…

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/picmov

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/picmov

But what can we – you and me – possibly do to stop scandals like Rotherham? Well, maybe harnessing the power of mobile technology will help? After all, young people today are the digital generation

An app to address Child Sexual Exploitation – really?…

In previous posts we’ve rehearsed the dangers of social media and the need to do our best to ensure that kids are safe online.
But this post is different. This is about using technology to help teenagers. Or to help us to help them!
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Making the news…

Sexual exploitation has been in the news again. A lot!  Rochdale, now Rotherham. Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is the safeguarding issue of the moment. Recently, the government published its action plan for dealing with CSE. Here’s how they defined it:
CSE definition
Young people at risk of CSE are a hard to reach group. After all, how do you tell a young person you think they may be in sexual danger or may already be being exploited ? The nature of the problem is deceptive. Deliberately.
Young people are drawn in and then they are abused – though it might not seem that way at first. So how can we help?
Here’s an app that might come in handy…

App No.2: WUD U?

“Barnardo’s helping you to stay safe”

Wud U?  “Is an educational tool for teachers and care professionals who interact with young people that might be at risk of sexual exploitation.”

Image courtesy ©Barnardo's

Image courtesy ©Barnardo’s

Barnardo’s, who produced the app, say that it aims to educate young people about behaviour that could put them at risk of being sexually exploited, through illustrated, interactive stories. Using it, professionals and carers can:

  • Demonstrate how young people can make safe decisions.
  • Provide young people with more information about sexual exploitation, from a trusted source.
  • Help raise awareness of sexual exploitation by sharing the app.

Image courtesy of ©Barnardo's

Image courtesy of ©Barnardo’s

Using stories featuring both boys and girls, the app draws attention to risky situations and asks what a safe decision might be.

  • The “Be Safe” section offers three top tips for keeping safe, questions to help young people consider their different relationships, a quiz about CSE and thoughts on how to tell someone if they’re in danger.
  • There are resource links to CEOP and to Barnardo’s itself.
  • The support option gives information about other organisations who can help and shows the emergency services’ and Childline telephone numbers.

[callout]Above all, the app is FREE, credible for young people and dead easy to use – download it here.[/callout]

Your thoughts?

  • Are you aware of any other apps that can help troubled young people to stay safe, get involved or to have their voice heard? 

Please let me know – join the conversation by leaving a comment below or by clicking here.

Other info…

Article: The I.T. Crowd – How Technology is Helping Children in Care…

Related previous posts…

Pass it on…

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© Jonny Matthew 2014

Acknowledgement: Some material in this post is taken directly from the Wud U? page of the Barnardo’s website

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