Social Networking and Facebook Policy 

Remain professional when communicating with young people in an online environment, treat online communication as you would when communicating face-to- face. 

Staff must comply with current organisational policies, which ensure all safeguarding aspects of your audience. Organisational procedures around confidentiality, bullying or equal opportunities, should be followed at all times (Please see Youth Support Services Safe Usage Protocol). 

Ensure that your audience is continuously aware of the aim of your profile/group/posts. Any information needs to be clear and relevant to your audience. 

Any material published must be neither politically sensitive, nor illegal. Any information or content should not be used for political purposes, specific campaigning, personal promotion or material gain. Any information posted should be beneficial to young people and must allow them to explore their views, not change them. 

Specific organisational email accounts should be used to contact young people where necessary. 

Social networking sites must not be used by staff in an abusive manner. 

Staff members have a responsibility to ensure that information is not posted which may be racial, homophobic, sexist, discriminative, or contain any harmful language. 

Staff should keep their personal and professional profiles separate. If you have met a young person in a session, then if you are going to befriend them on a social networking site, it must be through your youth worker profile. Ensure that the young person understands that it is your professional social networking profile and not your personal profile. 

Professional and personal relationships are always separate. If there comes to a point that there is grey area between the two, then you will at the very least speak to other members of staff and managers, in order to deal with it on a specific case-by- case basis. 

Under no circumstances are staffs obligated to have a professional social networking account. 

Consent forms will include a section based on social networking, regarding the tagging of young people in photos. At large-scale events, there will be signage as a disclaimer to notify attendees that photography or video may be taken at an event. If they wish to opt out of this, they must contact a member of staff as soon as possible. 

If you are using computers or devices which are publicly available, then you must ensure that you sign out. Passwords will all be the same for youth worker profiles, to ensure transparency and accessibility. 

Your profile picture for your work account should contain the ministry of life logo where possible. 

All staff profiles should be Okayed by management. Young people’s news feeds should be un-followed. 

Each staff should determine what hours they are available to be contacted. Staff should only be available during appropriate times of the day, where possible.