As a DSL, do you fear missing a child at risk?

At Smoothwall, we understand that a career in education can be rewarding, but also stressful – especially when you have the added pressure of being the safeguarding lead. 

What may be less understood are the harms students face in their digital lives and the impact this can have on your own mental health.

So what are the pressures that you as a DSL are facing?

Our latest whitepaper, ‘Who’s Safeguarding the Safeguarders’, has revealed that one-third of DSLs have experienced something which has distressed or upset them, within the past year. 

In particular, stress factors include:

  • Administration and regulatory pressures – mainly from keeping all staff up-to-date with changes to safeguarding policies and procedures, managing appraisals, and providing ongoing support to colleagues.
  • Time constraintsoften due to undertaking the DSL role alongside other responsibilities, such as teaching or leadership.
  • Exposure to online harms – our data shows a 71% increase in the number of serious alerts between 2020 and 2021. This means that every five minutes, a child is at serious risk. 
  • Anxiety around missing a child at risk – this is often referred to as FMCR – fear of missing a child at risk. 

Using Monitor to help alleviate some stresses

An inability to see the dangers to students online can be a constant source of anxiety for those on the front line of safeguarding. Smoothwall Monitor and our team of human moderators are uncovering these risks every minute of every day.

Smoothwall Monitor is designed to make your life easier, and in 2021, 99% of all alerts triggered by our monitoring system, were removed at source as false positives. Meaning DSLs were only alerted when a serious risk was posed that required immediate attention, effectively removing the outdated ‘eyes and ears’ only approach.

The software will also create a ‘risk profile’, documenting a child’s online activity, to help establish patterns of behaviour. Meaning you’ll know when a risk is detected in messages to fellow pupils, and even when typed and then deleted in a word document.

When a risk is detected and confirmed as positive, it is then graded between 1-5 in terms of seriousness. Depending on the grade, the DSLs is then alerted within their dashboard, or by telephone if it is graded 4 or above. This means you can concentrate on the most urgent alerts.

Want to find out more about Smoothwall Monitor?

If you’re new to digital monitoring, Smoothwall’s free ‘Complete Guide to Monitoring in Education’ whitepaper is available to download here.

Alternatively, click here to book a free walkthrough and Q+A session with one of Smoothwall’s monitoring experts.

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