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As a DSL, Do You Fear Missing a Child at Risk?

2 minute read
By Smoothwall

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 a DSL’s own mental health.

What are the pressures that DSLs face?

Smoothwall research, outlined in 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 constraints  often 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 Smoothwall 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 as a DSL 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only alerted when a serious risk was posed that required immediate attention, freeing up their time and removing the outdated ‘eyes and ears only’ approach. Essentially, Smoothwall Monitor provides DSLs with a vital safety net that helps to take the pressure off.

Want to find out more about how digital monitoring can help reduce the stress placed on DSLs?  

Take a look at our White Paper ‘Who’s Safeguarding the Safeguarders?’ to discover:

  • Why schools and colleges need to ‘Safeguard the Safeguarders’
  • How to recognise the stress factors placed on DSLs
  • How digital monitoring can help to alleviate the stress of keeping students safe

Download here.

See how Smoothwall Monitor can help you

At Smoothwall we’re on a mission to make it as easy as possible for DSLs to spot students at serious risk online. Book a free no-obligation discussion with a Smoothwall Monitor specialist, to find out how it can help to support you, or your school’s DSL.

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