Be Safe Technologies: Children as Equal Partners in Social Care Tech
When an email dropped into my inbox asking if I was available to do a TedX talk, my instant reaction was to STOP EVERYTHING – This was an opportunity that was not to be missed!
The fact that I was recovering from major surgery wasn’t ever a consideration, my only concern was how I was going to condense all the important things I had to say into just 15 minutes! The chance to showcase my own research, vision and future plans for MeSafe enough, but, on top of that, I was also going to be sharing the stage with a number of other amazing individuals, with truly inspirational stories and vast amounts of knowledge to share.
On the day, accompanied by a friend, I covered my most recent scars with a scarf and off I went ready to embrace every single moment. Walking on to the TedX stage was a dream come true – A proud moment, never to be forgotten…
Whilst tech and social media have received a lot of negative press recently, my belief is that despite this they are powerful tools which, if used in the correct manner, have huge potential to improve the lives of our children.
I am the founder of MeSafe, a social-care tech start-up, that is in the process of creating the world’s first safeguarding digital platform with the aim to protect, educate and communicate (in real time) with and for children and young people.
Children themselves rarely engage directly with protective services, unless they are referred into the child protection system by a third-party adult. Technologies have enabled children to communicate in new ways, as children today become ‘digital natives’. On stage, I shared my insights from my research and my passion for safeguarding children and tech for social good to an audience of over 2500 individuals. Working with children as equal partners for further research and innovation and leading the first Children’s Safeguarding Digital Cooperative Design Centre in the field of Social Care Tech.
Following my talk I was inundated with tweets of support, such as ‘children as equal partners’; ‘putting the child first and foremost’; ‘personal faves @SarahCarlick’; ‘great idea’, all of which were fantastic to receive. However, the one that stayed with me the most was from a lady that grew up in care and was later adopted – She told me she was tearing up in the audience whilst listening to my talk. Such simple statements help me to realise that all my hard work is worthwhile and truly reinforce my belief that I really can make a difference to the lives of children, young people and adults at risk.
To know that the audience supported my work and could feel the need for change, as well as sharing vision, made the TedX platform a very special space for me.
To watch the full TedX Talk, please click here.
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