MacKay Hannah

Child Welfare in a Digital Age: evolving technologies, emerging risks and developing responses

Wed 25th Sep 2013

Edinburgh, COSLA Conference Centre

SUPPORTERS All Supporters

OVERVIEW View Conference Agenda

Digital technologies are having a profound effect on childhoods. How our children learn, socialise and play is being influenced by the digital interactions they undertake – sometimes under supervision, sometimes not; sometimes safely, sometimes not.

Today’s children are the true digital natives. They are growing up in a world where the internet, mobile phones and computer games are features of daily life.

They are the toddlers who can navigate an iPhone before they can talk; they are the third of 3-4 year olds who regularly surf online; they are the school kids who know more about emerging digital trends than their ICT teachers; they are the prolific social networkers who have an average of 92 ‘friends’ when aged 8-11 and 286 when 12-15. And, yes, they are also the many 12-15 year olds for whom sexting has become almost routine; they are the quarter of 8-11 year olds who use social networking sites to communicate with people not directly known to them; they are the one in eight girls (12-15) who experience bullying online[1].

Having a ‘wired’ childhood provides tremendous new opportunities for our children; but it also presents new risks. And for those tasked with child development and welfare, new challenges – how do we help our children get the balance right?

Digital technologies and trends are evolving so fast that there is a real danger of attempting to solve problems that no longer exist, whilst failing to notice new challenges as they emerge. This conference will seek to explore the evolution of new technologies, their potential impact on Scotland’s children and young people, and the challenges they present to those entrusted with our children’s education, care and protection.

Topics covered will include:

  • Educating kids about social media and emerging technologies
  • Child internet safety training for children’s services professionals
  • Young people and new technologies: the importance of family context
  • Parental guidance and controls
  • Social networks – Connected. Sociable. Safe?
  • The risks of unsupervised access and excessive use
  • Cyberbullying and online safety
  • Virtual thrills, real risks – children, young people and sexting (mobiles, BBMs etc)
  • The use of social networking sites to get important messages across
  • Creating better public awareness

[1] Statistics from the Ofcom 'Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes Report' (October 2012)


Tam Baillie

Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People (pre-recorded Welcome Address)

Sue Palmer

Independent writer and consultant on literacy and child development; Author of 'Toxic Childhood' and '21st Century Boys'


Beth Smith Director, WithScotland

Professor Andy Phippen Professor of Social Responsibility in IT, University of Plymouth

Alison Preston Head of Media Literacy Research, Ofcom

Brian Donnelly Director, respectme

Heather Smith Principal Officer - Child Care & Protection Training and Development, City of Edinburgh Council

Bobby Elliott Qualifications Manager, SQA

Jenny Kemp Coordinator, Zero Tolerance

Derek Howie Social Media Manager, fatBuzz

Jamie Tosh Founder, Kibooku

Kirsten Urquhart Information Services Manager, Young Scot

Victoria Jack Helpline Supervisor, ParentLine Scotland

Anne Jarvis Helpline Supervisor, ParentLine Scotland

Eamonn Keane Detective Inspector, e-crime Unit, Police Scotland

Rebecca Hammond St Augustine's High School

Eilidh Mackay Leith Academy, Edinburgh

Ellen Worthington Leith Academy, Edinburgh

Keep Up To Date

Not ready to book but want to stay up to date with announcements about this conference


Are you interested in conferences like these? Sign Up to get emails when we add a new conference.

Have attended in the past and always enjoyed this event. Repeat attendance shows how much I enjoyed and value this event.

Marnie McVitie - Eildon Housing Association,
Delegate at ACES 2016

Sponsorship opportunities at our conferences

<p>Sponsorship opportunities at our conferences</p>