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15 February 2017

New resource on social media use and safe-guarding launched in NI for faith-based organisations.

New resource on social media use and safe-guarding launched in NI for faith-based organisations.

Week in, week out, the Church in Northern Ireland is making an amazing contribution to the lives of the next generation.

In fact it's estimated that more than two thirds of registered youth groups here are faith-based . This includes Church groups and uniformed organisations like Girls and Boys Brigade, through to organisations that disciple, mentor and train young people and those which engage in drop-in or detached youth work in local communities.

The Evangelical Alliance in Northern Ireland (EANI) is privileged to count many of these churches and organisations among our members. We are keen to serve and support them as they continue to build vital relationships with children and young people.

Our vision for the next generation of the Church is so much bigger than just keeping children and young people safe - this is a minimum starting point rather than the end in itself. However, the question of how we protect children and young people and those who work with them, is increasingly important. This is particularly so in an age when 90 per cent of teenagers own a smartphone and three quarters of 10-12 year olds have social media accounts.

In this context, the inter-faith subgroup of the safe-guarding board for Northern Ireland has been working on a resource for faith-based groups and social media use. The result is a really practical and helpful template that churches and faith-based organisations can use and adapt for their own situation. EANI are members of the group where we sit alongside representatives from the larger denominations, the NSPCC and the PSNI.

A copy of the leaflet can be downloaded here and hard copies can be ordered directly from SBNI.

Image: CC0 European Southern Observatory