New report highlights importance of cyber resilience discussion for young people in Scotland

The report illustrates the key role youth workers have to play in supporting young people stay safe and supported online.

New research from YouthLink Scotland underlines the range and seriousness of the issues affecting young people in the digital world and highlights the role of youth work in supporting young people to develop resilient practices.

The project asked four groups of young people from different parts of Scotland from diverse backgrounds to explore their understanding of cyber resilience and to think about youth work’s role in supporting them.

Young people were asked about a range of online safety and cyber resilience issues affecting them, including:

Baed on the research findings, the report makes several recommendations to ensure young people receive adequate and relevant support to help them navigate their online lives. These included changing the language we use to talk to young people about cyber resilience issues, engaging with young people from primary school age, providing opportunities for peer educatino, and increasing the regularity of cyber resilience discussions.

Youth Work and Cyber Resilience: What Young People Said

Download our full report to find out more.

Tim Frew, CEO at YouthLink Scotland said, “Whether we realise it or not building cyber resilience is a key aspect of everyday life and as a youth work sector we are embedding key skills through digital youth work. This research adds to our knowledge base and will help us support young people to stay safe and secure online.”

Dr Amy Calder, Senior Researcher at YouthLink Scotland said:  “This research highlights the importance of using participatory methodologies which provide safe spaces for young people to discuss the issues they are facing online with youth workers who they trust. From what young people shared youth work has an important role to play in ensuring that cyber resilience messages are engaging, clearly understood and that support is in place when issues arise for them in the digital world”

Hilary Phillips, lead on digital youth work at YouthLink Scotland said, “We wanted to hear directly from young people about the issues that they face online and how they think youth workers can support them. This piece of research will help us to position the support we offer the sector. Youth worker skills in building trust and having important conversations with young people are absolutely key.”

The work was delivered with funding from the Cyber Resilience Unit at Scottish Government and is a response to the government’s cyber resilience action plan. YouthLink Scotland are members of the Cyber Scotland Partnership.

To discuss the findings, YouthLink Scotland’s digital youth work lead Hilary Phillips will be running a webinar to explore the findings in more detail on 20 May.