Rays of Sunshine Children’s Charity Online Safety Policy Statement

Rays of Sunshine recognises the positive part the internet plays in children and young people’s lives however children and young people can be vulnerable to online abuse and inappropriate content. This Online Safety Policy Statement outlines Rays of Sunshine’s approach to keeping the people we work with safe online. This policy should be read alongside Rays of Sunshine’s policies on child protection and safeguarding.

The purpose of this policy statement:

Rays of Sunshine Children’s Charity works with children, young people and families as part of its activities. These include:

  • Wish Granting
  • Additional events – in person and online
  • Hospital Activity programme
  • Grants and resources to hospitals & healthcare settings

The purpose of this policy statement is to:

  • Ensure the safety and wellbeing of children and young people when using the internet, social media or mobile apps to access and engage in our services.
  • Provide staff & volunteers with the overarching principles that guide our approach to online safety.
  • Ensure that, as an organisation, we operate in line with our values and within the law in terms of how we use online devices.

The policy statement applies to all staff, volunteers, children and young people and anyone involved in Rays of Sunshine’s activities.

We believe that:

  • children and young people should never experience abuse of any kind
  • children and young people should be able to use the internet for personal wellbeing and development, but safeguards need to be put in place to ensure they are kept safe at all times.

We recognise that:

  • the online world provides everyone with many opportunities; however it can also present risks and challenges
  • we have a duty to ensure that all children and young people involved in our organisation or with our organisation’s services are protected from potential harm online
  • we have a responsibility to keep children and young people safe online
  • all children, regardless of age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation, have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse
  • working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies, is essential in promoting young people’s welfare and in helping young people to be responsible in their approach to online safety.

We will seek to keep children and young people safe by:

  • appointing an online safety coordinator
  • providing clear and specific directions to staff and volunteers on how to behave online through our code of conduct
  • supporting and encouraging the children and young people using our services to use the internet, social media, and mobile phones in a way that keeps them safe and shows respect to others
  • supporting and encouraging parents, guardians and carers to do what they can to keep their children safe online
  • ensuring personal information about the adults and children involved in our services that we collect via social media or online platforms is held securely or only held as appropriate
  • ensuring that images of children, young people and families that we collect via social media or online platforms are used only after their written permission has been obtained, and only for the purpose for which consent has been given
  • examining and risk assessing any social media platforms and new technologies before they are used within the organisation.

Our approach to online service delivery

In the event that services are delivered online Rays of Sunshine have a Code of Conduct outlining how employees and volunteers are expected to behave.

  • Only employees and volunteers in possession of a DBS check are permitted to lead and arrange online service delivery.
  • Operational procedures have been put in place to ensure safe service delivery online for all beneficiaries and employees.
  • For the safety and welfare of children and young people engaging in our services Rays of Sunshine will not be offering any online, unmoderated chat functions to young people.
  • Any new digital platforms used for the provision of online services to children and young people will be assessed prior to use.

Our approach to social media

Rays of Sunshine are committed to following the 6 key safety principles as outlined in ‘Child Safety Online: A Practical Guide for Providers of Social Media and Interactive Services’ (2015). Although not all principles are relevant to Rays of Sunshine’s online activity all future developments will be in accordance with these 6 principles as managed by the Head of PR & Communications.

  • Managing content on our service – all social media platforms are managed by a member of the PR team in accordance with the sites rules and regulations.
  • Parental controls – this is enforced by the sites own policies and procedures.
  • Dealing with abuse/misuse – this is outlined by the sites policies.
  • Dealing with child sexual abuse content and illegal contact – this is managed by the social media platform.
  • Privacy and controls – this is managed by the social media platform.
  • Education and awareness

If online abuse occurs or there are suspicions of any online abuse, we will respond to it by:

  • having clear and robust safeguarding procedures in place for responding to abuse (including online abuse)

Contact details

Online Safety Co-ordinator: