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Tapestry

Staff being online friends over FB with parents.


Wendy123
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We don't have friends and i'm glad. I post pictures and have pictures posted that might not show me in a professional light. I wouldn't want playgroup to be seen in anything other than a perfect place for their child.

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don't think you can do anything, what staff do in their private life is their business and would be very difficult to police. we just have an honest conversation about the possible pitfuls and then I trust them, after all, parents know we all have a life outside preschool and its quite nice that they think so much of us that they want to be friends on social media sites

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it can work against a parent too when they post on FB that little Charlie has been up through the night being sick - and here he is toddling through your door that morning!

It's a minefield, especially when you are friends first and then they become a customer (I'm not on FB btw) I agree it's difficult to police and often it only becomes more transparent when something obvious has happened and it's too late to avoid the consequences

 

Have a strict/tight but reasonable policy and continue to speak to them about the bigger picture; often they don't see the repercussions that are hiding around the corner - and that FB regularly change their security settings leaving previously locked accounts open to all; friends of friends liking pictures etc may open them up to others

We also mention that if they see anything untoward about a child etc they may have a duty of care to mention/report it - far end of the scale but say they've said on FB they had no child care and left Tommy in bed alone whilst they popped to the pub (extreme but that sort of thing) - that's been enough to not accept some requests from some parents!

Remind them parents may seek to gain info via FB about their child etc and not to share that sort of info

Parents need to be reminded in your policy/welcome info not to post group photos on FB (eg if they've received their child's LJ and taken a pic of a photo and posted)

 

good luck

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it depends for us. There are some parents I would not accept as friends, however we are from a small community and many of us were friends with parents BEFORE they were our parents. So what do you do then un-friend them?? it can be quite difficult I to have posts that may not be considered that professional but I do think it is my private life, as long as I am professional in the setting which I am then I have to hope that is enough. We do have policies in place talking about pitfuls and being good ambassadors for the setting but to be honest we live and work in the same area so really the only place I would ever be 'safe' to let my hair down in is in my own home! you get used to it.

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I have a lot of outside interests, some of which are probably not compatible with working early years, e.g. collecting memorial jewellery for children and burlesque, however I am still friends with several of my parents and it has never been a problem if I have posted something about the other aspects of my life. I look after their children for 6 hours a day so they have to expect me to do things with the rest of my day and as long as I am completely professional in my dealing with them at work then I don't see a problem. I also don't have an issue with them sharing photos of their child from their journals on FB, whats wrong with people wanted to share pics of their happy child enjoying their early years at my setting? It has been a godsend for some of my hard to reach families who prefer to contact me (via PM) about their child and even if I say 'speak to me at the setting tomorrow', I can still be seen to be responding to their contact and it can give us an opening for conversation with our less interactive parents when we can say 'your tea looked lovely last night, what recipe did you use?' (and yes, I have had that conversation with a parent when she posted a picture of her cooking). I really see it as a positive part of my work with families

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Facebook is only one way parents could interact socially with staff outside the setting.

I would concern myself far more with ensuring that the staff understood the issues around confidentiality and had the skills to deflect inappropriate questions or approaches in all areas of their social lives.

I think this is one area where discussions in staff meetings and even role play are really important. Get people talking about the risks of Facebook, Twitter, getting drunk in the local pub, babysitting for parents, having children of family members in the setting, having hobbies that might raise eyebrows, etc and share ideas of how they can be managed.

In our village you won't just see parents at the setting. You will also come across them in the pub, at church, at the surgery, in the school playground, in the am dram group, at the stables, walking the dog, at birthday parties, etc. Much better to equip someone with the skills they need to think before they speak and maintain confidentiality and professionalism around their early years practitioner role than to prevent interaction in one very specific format and have a false sense of security.

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I have a lot of outside interests, some of which are probably not compatible with working early years, e.g. collecting memorial jewellery for children and burlesque, however I am still friends with several of my parents and it has never been a problem if I have posted something about the other aspects of my life. I look after their children for 6 hours a day so they have to expect me to do things with the rest of my day and as long as I am completely professional in my dealing with them at work then I don't see a problem. I also don't have an issue with them sharing photos of their child from their journals on FB, whats wrong with people wanted to share pics of their happy child enjoying their early years at my setting? It has been a godsend for some of my hard to reach families who prefer to contact me (via PM) about their child and even if I say 'speak to me at the setting tomorrow', I can still be seen to be responding to their contact and it can give us an opening for conversation with our less interactive parents when we can say 'your tea looked lovely last night, what recipe did you use?' (and yes, I have had that conversation with a parent when she posted a picture of her cooking). I really see it as a positive part of my work with families

What a positive response - I am not a Facebook user - or faceache as I prefer to call it - but I really like your 'take' on it max :1b

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I'm totally with you max! We are people in our own right and I think it's right for parents to see this if they want to and I agree (there are some parents I won't be friends with on parents but others who I generally see as friends). I enjoy seeing what the children get up to as well and they love it when I ask them if they enjoyed their riding lesson, or if Mummy is feeling better after she fell down the stairs etc... As upsy daisy said it's the guidelines set that matter, you can't control not seeing parents in co-op etc it's how the staff respond and react that's key. We regularly go through the policies about what is acceptable and what isn't and to be fair we find it works well. Staff have personal choice, if they want to be friends with parents fine, if not, fine, their choice! We have a closed Facebook group too which is brill, parents post in photos of their child's birthday or holiday, or thank you's or updates (a child just been to have tonsils out) which other parents are genuinely interested in which otherwise wouldn't necessarily find out. They aren't close enough to the parent to phone or text but close enough to car and share a friendly get well comment. We feel it really brings parents and staff together and again its a choice for everyone whether they are in or not!

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