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Sunday, 24th July 2011

UK: Munch Poke Ping! Vulnerable Young People, Social Media and E-safety

Source: Carrick-Davies & Associates

The focus of the research was to consider the risks which vulnerable young people, excluded from schools and being taught in Pupil Referral Units (PRUs), encounter online and through their mobile phones. The aim was to then ascertain what specific advice, support and safeguarding training staff working with these vulnerable young people need when it comes to understanding social media and mobile technology. 

The research used a mixed method approach including an online survey of staff, face-to-face interviews, literature review, site visits, workshops and, perhaps most importantly, intensive focus group sessions with a small group of young people (aged 15-17) from one PRU in London. This work resulted in a film, devised and acted by the young people themselves.  Modelling a very positive use of technology and involving students as co-researchers and peer-teachers to help other young people understand the risks, are two recommendations to come out of the research. As such the film (and a short documentary about how the film was created) is very much a part of the final report and should be viewed in tandem with the full report...

(The) central thrust of the report is that whilst the offline physical environments are challenging, the virtual environments these young people inhabit are equally important, challenging and potentially transformational. To serve vulnerable young people adequately, it is vital to take into consideration the ways in which they are vulnerable and at risk online.

+ Full Report (PDF; 3.4 MB)

+ Full Summary Findings, Recommendations & Suggestions for Resources (PDF; 1 MB)

+ Films from the Report available from this page


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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

More articles by Adrian Janes »



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