ACAA to host online safety workshop in partnership with CARS

The workshop will be held on Thursday, April 27 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Heartland Youth Centre.

The Association of Communities Against Abuse (ACAA) will be hosting an online safety workshop on Thursday, April 27 in partnership with Children and Adolescents being Resilient and Self-Regulating (CARS), especially targeted towards parents and guardians.

This session will look at a variety of online activities that are popular with children and teens, and will offer practical examples and visuals to help parents manage their children’s online safety.

“I think it’s very relevant given the environment in which children are growing up now and how fast they are learning,” said Penny Warford, program coordinator for CARS. “We have presentations within the schools for the students, but it is also important to involve the parents.”

Developed by ACAA, the workshop will be “hands-on” and share practical knowledge with parents on how to set rules and boundaries with your child.

“I’ve been teaching and presenting preventive education sessions from K to Grade 12 for more than five years now, but while I was in my second year doing this, I felt that that there has to be a lot more communication between students of grades 1 to 4 and their parents,” said Stephanie Hadley, program director at ACAA. “We ran a pilot for grades 3 to 6 and discovered that while parents are having conversations with their children in grades 5 and 6, this was not true among the lower grades.”

According to Hadley, last year especially she felt the need of parent engagement, and this workshop will be the first of its kind to help parents learn and get familiar with various settings in their child’s accounts.

“As a parent myself I am aware that often parents feel overwhelmed at the rate at which the kids are learning new technology,” Hadley added. “So we geared this towards helping them to choose settings that will ensure privacy when using different applications or websites. There will be also be useful handouts and links to websites offering more information about parent involvement in online usage, and ways to find help if your child has been harassed online or becomes a victim of unlawful image sharing.”

Hadley added that parents will have an opportunity to share concerns or ask questions about specific topics as well, and hopefully go back with a lot more knowledge at the end of the session.

The workshop is entitled “Managing your children’s online use: how to prepare children and help them protect themselves online” and parents are welcome to attend this informative session on Thursday, April 27 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Heartland Youth Centre. For more information, please contact Penny Warford at 403-740-2775 or Stephanie Hadley at 403-742-3558.