Little Wombatz recognises that some employees may use the internet for personal purposes and may participate in social networking on sites such as Facebook and MySpace. Employees must ensure they do not breach the law or disclose any confidential information about the setting, children or families.
This policy outlines the setting’s approach to social networking and the use of blogs. It details the ground rules for employees, who should ensure that the content of their blogs/social networking sites does not bring the setting into disrepute or breach their obligations under the setting’s Code of Conduct.
This policy applies to all setting employees, volunteers and students.
The term ‘blog’ is short for ‘web log’. A blog is an online diary detailing personal insights and experiences. This is shared with an online audience.
A Social Network Site is a website, which allows individuals to construct a public or semi-public online profile and to connect with others who share similar interests and views.
Ground Rules for Employees
Employees must not access personal blogs/social networking sites on work premises or use the setting internet systems or email address for their own use.
The setting does not condone employees writing about their work on social networking sites or web pages and asks them not to do so. If employees choose to do so, they are expected to follow the rules below.
Staff must not:
– disclose any information that is confidential to the setting or any third party or disclose personal data or information about any individual child, colleague or service user, which could be in breach of the Data Protection Act
– disclose the name of the setting or allow it to be identified by any details at all. This includes posting photos of children and young people, the premises or events with works colleagues
– make defamatory remarks about the setting, colleagues or service users;
– misrepresent the setting by posting false or inaccurate statements
Communication between children and young people, by whatever method, should always take place within clear and explicit professional boundaries. Staff should avoid any misinterpretation of their motives or any behaviour that could be construed as grooming.
Staff should not:
– give their personal email details to children, young people and parents who use the setting
– send or accept new friend requests on social networking sites from children, young people or parents who use the setting
Failure to adhere to the rules and guidelines in this policy may be considered misconduct and could lead to disciplinary and /or criminal investigations.
Remember that anything posted online could end up in the public domain to be read by children, parents or even future employers – so be careful what you post and who you post it to. For example, posting explicit pictures of yourself could damage your reputation and that of your profession and organisation. Parents may question your suitability to care for children.