Conference to educate in digital safety and wellbeing

Experts will be gathering at Plymouth University next month to discuss digital safety in social care, health and education settings.

Among the speakers at the Digital Wellbeing and Safeguarding Conference on 16 May will be Lorin LaFave, the mother of teenager Breck Bednar who was sadly murdered as a result of online grooming.

Lorin told her story recently in the BBC3 TV Programme The Murder Games: The Life and Death of Breck Bednar, and details how she set up the Breck Foundation ‘to raise awareness for playing safe whilst using the internet’. 

The one-day conference also includes talks from Professor Andy Phippen, Professor of Social Responsibility in IT at Plymouth University, and Ken Corish and Vicki Green from the UK Safer Internet Centre. 

Professor Phippen, who advises the government and politicians on issues surrounding internet safety, said: 

“99 per cent of the time, children are using technology in a positive way – mainly as a way of communicating with their friends and peers – and in the remaining one per cent, it is normally not the technology that is the problem, but society. I and other keynote speakers hope to share our ideas with people at the conference to discuss the good work already taking place in online safety, as well as what measures individuals themselves can take to stay safe.”
Di Galpin, Academic Lead for Social Work, said: 

“We are delighted to be welcoming so many prestigious speakers to this regional conference, which has been generously supported by Cornwall County Council, Plymouth Children’s Service and Devon County Council. We in Social Work at Plymouth University feel this is a significant area for practitioners not only for social work and social Care but for health and education too. Digital wellbeing and safeguarding is now an everyday consideration when we are assessing, supporting and working with children, families and individuals.”
Marion Russell, Principal Child and Family Social Worker with Cornwall County Council, said: 

“This conference serves to highlight the growth of safeguarding concerns within the digital world. The impact of cybercrime and internet grooming is an issue of utmost importance to us. By supporting this conference we aim to develop knowledge and learning to help protect the most vulnerable.”

The Digital Wellbeing and Safeguarding Conference takes place from 9am-4pm on 16 May and is open to the public. 

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