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School Completion Programme Dublin 1 & 7 Online Policy & Social Media Policy


Overview of Policy

This policy provides guidance for the use of social media, which should be broadly understood
for purposes of this policy to include blogs, message boards, chat rooms/ video calling services,
electronic newsletters, online forums, social networking sites, and other sites and services that
permit users to share information with others (whether service users or other professional
organisations) in a professional and appropriate manner.

Engaging with Service Users via Social Media Platforms

  • D1 & 7 SCP staff should only use sanctioned D1 & 7 SCP social media sites to engage with service users.

  • Any D1 & 7 SCP staffs private social media accounts should never be used to contact a

  • service user.

  • All D1 & 7 SCP social media accounts will be monitored by D1 & 7 SCP Coordinator and will adhere to appropriate safeguarding best practice when in contact with service users via online platforms and private messaging.

  • Unless prior written consent is provided by a child/young person’s parent/guardian, no D1 & 7 SCP staff will initiate private messaging with a child/young person via social media platforms.

  • In the event that a child/young person initiates a private message on a D1 & 7 SCP social media account, a reply will be given in an appropriate manner but no further private conversation will be pursued unless prior consent has been given.

  • D1 & 7 SCP staff should keep their engagement on D1 & 7 SCP social media to their regular working hours and not outside of these.

General Procedures for Using Social Media on Behalf of SCP as well as when referencing SCP within an employees personal social media account.

  • Employees should be aware of the effect their actions may have on their own image, as well as the image of D1 & 7 SCP. The information that is posted or is published may be public information for a long time.

  • Employees should be aware that the Coordinator may observe content and information made available through social media. Employees should use best judgment in posting material that is neither inappropriate nor harmful to D1 & 7 SCP, its employees, or members.

  • Although not an exclusive list, some specific examples of prohibited social media conduct include posting commentary, content, or images that are defamatory, pornographic, proprietary, harassing, libellous, or that can create a hostile work environment.

  • Employees are not to publish, post or release any information that is considered confidential or not public. If there are questions about what is considered confidential, you should check with the D1 & 7 SCP Coordinator.

  • Social media networks, blogs and other types of online content sometimes generate press and media attention or legal questions. You may need to refer these inquiries to the D1 & 7 SCP Coordinator.

  • If employees find or encounter a situation while using social media that threatens to become antagonistic, the employee should disengage from the dialogue in a polite manner and seek the advice of the Coordinator.

  • Employees should get appropriate permission before referring to or posting images of current or former employees, members, vendors or suppliers. Additionally, you should get appropriate permission to use a third party's copyrights, copyrighted material, trademarks, service marks or other intellectual property.

  • It is highly recommended that employees keep D1 & 7 SCP related social media accounts separate from personal accounts.

  • Any photographs/images of a child/young person that is featured on online or social media platforms should be done only in light of permission granted by a parent/guardian.



Protocol for Online Groups

The below guidelines for the appropriate use of online communication tools (Microsoft Teams, Skype,
Zoom, Duo etc.) for online groups should be understood and adhered to alongside the pre-existing Online and Social Media policy of the Dublin 1 and 7 SCP as well as the Dublin 1 and 7 SCP Safeguarding policy.

  • Online communication meetings are to be held only when there is a minimum of two SCP staff members on the call, in advance of any young people joining the group.

  • SCP staff should only use work accounts to place calls. No personal accounts should be used.

  • Staff members should not share any personal information during a call nor should they request any personal information from a child/young person.

  • In advance of the meeting, SCP staff will schedule the meeting for a pre-arranged time and date and send this link to both the child/young person and their parent/guardian.

  • Parents/Guardians and the SCP Coordinator will be notified in advance of any upcoming online communication calls being held by SCP staff.

  • Parents will be engaged prior to first online meeting with their son/daughter to ensure there is clarity regarding the process and expectations. Specific questions outlined in Tusla guidelines are to be asked during this meeting.

  • Only SCP staff will place a call for an online meeting and will be in control of who they ‘admit’ into the meeting.

  • Both SCP Staff and the child/young person should call from a ‘neutral’ location in their home/accommodation i.e. not a private bedroom/bathroom.

  • All online participants should continue to adhere to prior group expectations / contract regarding how they conduct themselves on the call. Any behaviour that the SCP staff deem unsuitable could lead to a participant being removed from the group call.

  • SCP staff can be contacted via their mobiles if participants are having any connectivity issues.

  • Online meetings cannot take place unless parent/guardian is in the home during the call. Ideally, parent/ guardian will be in the room with the young person during the online meeting. Parents/guardians must provide explicit consent for the online meeting to take place without a parent/guardian in the room

  • No online meetings should be scheduled prior to 10am in the morning and all scheduled meetings should finish no later than 8pm in the evening. Emergency contact can be made through phone/text outside these hours only if necessary.

Protocol for 1:1 Key Work Online Sessions

The above guidelines for online groups apply to 1:1 meetings with the exception of the following and
once explicit consent has been received from a parent/guardian;

In instances where there is an established relationship between SCP staff and a young person that
includes 1:1 meetings, there are circumstances where the continuation of these sessions can take
place through online communication tools.


The following protocols must be adhered to in these instances:

  • The individual staff member placing the call must start the call by speaking with the parent/guardian and on ending the call will notify the parent/guardian that the call is finished.

  • The individual child involved in the call should take the call in a neutral location in their accommodation where possible. However an independent space in the home is acceptable once this has been agreed between the host and a parent/guardian.

  • If at any stage during a 1:1 meeting the host feels uncomfortable with the content of the call, they should explain their reasons and end the call as soon as possible with the young person.

  • This conversation will be followed by a phone call explaining their reasons for doing so to the parent/guardian.

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