Using online social networking

Social Network Sites (SNS) present opportunities to work with young people, families and communities but opportunities and risks go hand in hand. The opportunities and risks of most concern to young people (keeping in touch with friends and bullying respectively) are different from those most frequently highlighted in the mainstream media.

Social Networking Toolkit

A social networking toolkit has been produced to support any groups or organisations produce a robust and safe framework to be able to make use of social networking sites. If you are using social networking tools and receive messages or posts and are not sure how to respond we've put together a short guide to help decide what to do.

Overall principles:

  • It is everyone’s duty to promote safeguarding and welfare and promote safety education for children and families;
  • Standards for safeguarding exist already and should be applied;
  • Decisions on use and appropraite supervision of staff need to be made through normal Service Management arrangements.

For Services ensure:

  • Work is only carried out via official log-ins to ensure accountability - Liaise with IT;
  • Supervision of work practice based on existing standards;
  • Clear labelling so public know and can check sources of information; 
  • Training for staff.

For Staff ensure:

  • Personal and work accounts are separate;
  • Personal accounts are not used for work;
  • Management accountability and approval for use;
  • Checking of their personal accounts - If the content became public, would it undermine your work?

For Concerns - base your response on your existing established professional practice.

Useful documents


Local Area Teams Information Service (formerly York FIS)

01904 554444