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Does anyone know if there any set in stone rules regarding staff not being permitted to befriend parents in facebook and if so could you point me in the right direction of where to fine them?

 

I've been trawling the internet trying to find something, so assume that there isn't?

 

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There probably isn't - just makes sense though. How do you refuse a parent if they ask to be your friend and you don't want to be? would it offend them? even if you do accept, no way could you discuss any nursery related things, or express what type of day you have had at work.

 

If Facebook is to be a form of acceptable communication for your group, perhaps a Facebook page for your setting could be an answer, at least you would have some control over what happens.

 

I am a complete Facebookphobe - so do take what I say with a large pinch of salt!! :blink: :blink: :blink: :ph34r:

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I've said this before and I stand by it. I don't agree with banning staff from being friends on face book with parents. For example I live in a small village and 5 out of 10 of my staff have children the same age as each other - and 50% of the village - so most of us a friends with each other in 'real life' so how could I expect staff not to be friends with their 'real life' friends on face book?

 

Of course you need a policy which is strictly adhered to by staff - we have one that states we don't request parents if we are not friends with them outside of the setting, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever that is acceptable to discuss the setting either by private message or in public and staff need to be aware of what they are posting about their private lives too - and they know that I have zero tolerance with this and any negative comments or unprofessional comments and it is straight to disciplinary. We've had no problems whatsoever........probably not what everyone agrees with but it works for us :)

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I don't believe there is any set answer, it's all down to each work place.

Ours is if already friends then it's fine, no Facebook friend requests can be accepted if not already friends prior to starting at our setting.

Staff know they have to declare if they are friends on Facebook with a family that start with us, I then ensure they know rules and more to point how to protect themselves and our procedure to follow if they feel uncomfortable as I don't want them to feel isolated if anything happens.

We have had a few incidents where a parent has asked a question and staff have had to give back the answer of not discussing pre school but I don't think that's a big thing as they do this face to face as well so no difference, another situation was a disgruntled parent vented on Facebook after her child got bit and the staff member felt so uncomfortable as she could see it all. However my main one is where it falls into safeguarding as staff know their role but it's not easy to have to report to me something they have seen on Facebook for me to have to deal with as they feel somewhat like a snitch and gossip, even thought they know it's what has to be done it's not easy for them and my main concern with all of this is not so much the parents but supporting staff and ensuring they know I'm here for them.

 

I've also too been in situation where parent asked for my friendship and I could deny based on policy (thank goodness) I don't have staff on mine unless I was their friend beforehand as I have been there got the t shirt and won't go back to that.

 

This is all just my way not necessarily the right way but I have seen the nasty side of Facebook and how it can bring people down in an instant and cause a lot of stress and victimisation alongside how little the police and solicitors can do to support the person getting victimised, so I try to fully ensure my staff feel I support and protect them x

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There are no rules but we have a policy on it, i'll be in work tomorrow and if i can remember how to upload it, i will. I don't believe in banning people from being friends but our policy does state that staff must be aware of what they post and that it will be a disciplinary matter if they do anything to bring the nursery into disrepute. We have discussed it in staff meetings so that all staff are aware of things that may cause an issue.

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We have a policy it doesn't say no, but no new friendships with parents whilst at pre-school but how do you police it? We have had incidents with parents venting which we find out through staff who are friends of friends etc. It can be a nightmare!!! I am not friends with staff, parents, even my children who are same age group / friends as some of our parents.

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I think you need to look at your safeguarding policy and I have a social media policy. I myself have a facebook profile but do not have current parents as friends and choose carefully who my friends are. Staff know that they are not allowed to discuss children outside of the working environment and sometimes a parent will use FB as a tool to ask. I do advise my staff to keep work and home life separate and parents have been informed of this.

I have been in childcare and the rules have changed significantly over the past 5 years or so.

Safeguarding is prevalent in all Ofsted inspections so look closely at any use of social media.

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This is what we use......

 

Social Networking Sites

Social media, professional networking sites, rapid-fire communications, blog sites, and personal Web sites are all useful technologies; *********** realises this fact. Every employee has an opportunity to express and communicate on-line in many ways, and we do not wish to discourage an on-line presence. Above all else, everyone needs to use good judgement on what material makes its way on-line.

This policy will set out guidelines that employees should follow for all on-line communications in reference to ***************

 

Responsibility

Any material posted on line in reference to ****************** by any employee is the responsibility of the poster. At no times should any posts be made in reference to Children, Parents or other professionals that employees may come in to contact with through work. At no time must any photographs or materials be published that identify the setting or Children and pictures of staff may only be used with the express permission of the staff members concerned. Any member of staff found to be posting remarks or comments that breach confidentiality or are deemed to be of a detrimental nature to the company or other employees or posting/publishing photographs of the setting, children or staff unless staff permission has been gained will face disciplinary action in line with the company disciplinary procedures.

Topic matter guidelines

***************** employees are encouraged to use the following guidelines in social networking practices:

  • Remember that no information sent over the web is totally secure and as such if you do not wish the information to be made public refrain from sending it over a social network site.
  • Even though you may think you are anonymous or use an alias you may be recognised.
  • Maintain professionalism, honesty, and respect.
  • Apply a "good judgement" test for every activity related to ************; could you be guilty of leaking information, discussing confidential information? Is it negative commentary regarding ************* or its employees?

Activity showing good judgement would include statements of fact about ***************** and its products and services, facts about already-public information, or information on the setting Web site.

Any member of staff referring to the children, parents/carers, colleagues or other work related matters will risk facing disciplinary action.

Staff are asked NOT to request parents as ‘friends’ on social networking sites, however if parents request you, use your judgement as to whether you should accept the request or not - are you friends with them outside of the setting? if not we would suggest you do not accept their request.

 

Personal posts

Remember that at all times you are representing the setting - whether posting about us or not - so please think carefully about whether what you are posting shows you in a professional light. For example it is not acceptable to advertise how drunk you might have got, or to post unsuitable photo's etc.

Edited by mrsbat
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Oh dear I'd have broken that end bit most weekends lol, I'm not a shy drunk ha ha ha ha and I do pole fitness too so some of my pictures are also not shy while hanging gracefully upside down and clutching for life lol :)

However I have been good this bank holiday it's been all about chocolate and working it off at the gym with little alcohol :)

One parent once who struggled to communicate with staff all of a sudden started talking to me more and it wasn't until her mum said when collecting grandchild she (meaning mum) likes you, she has seen your profile pictures on face book (that's all you can see as its on lock down) and she was like 'look mum, look at these pictures, she's fun and normal' ha ha I did giggle but I was also proud that my pictures had broken down a barrier, lots of parents see us as these super human, perfect parents and I am not, I am just like every other Tom, dick and Harry at home being a parent to my kids the best I can, making mistakes and enjoying life. This happened a good while ago now but I can still remember the conversation as though it was yesterday.

The hard bit is pretending to be sober when bumping into parents on a night out ha ha ha ha

I tried Twitter but didn't get it so carnt comment on that.

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We also include that staff must not state the setting name in any posts or as their workplace in their status. No photos of themselves in uniform etc. It's really difficult to try and get the balance right without work controlling your whole life. We are only human??

Edited by lsp
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The hard bit is pretending to be sober when bumping into parents on a night out ha ha ha ha

 

 

Or trying to hide the bottles of booze in your shopping trolley when you bump in to them - or even worse to stop snogging hubby at the cinema when you realise some parents are sitting 2 rows behind!

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This is what my policy says:

The use of social media

The aim of this is to provide advice and guidance for those working with children and young people in educational settings (including volunteers) regarding the use of Social Networking Sites.

The use of social networking sites such as Facebook, Bebo and MySpace is rapidly becoming the primary form of communication between friends and family. In addition there are many other sites which allow people to publish their own pictures, text and videos such as YouTube and blogging sites. It would not be reasonable to expect or instruct employees not to use these sites which, if used with caution, should have no impact whatsoever on their role in nursery. Indeed, appropriate use of some sites may also have professional benefits. It is naïve and outdated however, to believe that use of such sites provides a completely private platform for personal communications. Even when utilised sensibly and with caution employees are vulnerable to their personal details being exposed to a wider audience than they might otherwise have intended. One example of this is when photographs and comments are published by others without the employees consent or knowledge which may portray the employee in a manner which is not conducive to their role in nursery.

Difficulties arise when staff utilise these sites and they do not have the knowledge or skills to ensure adequate security and privacy settings. In addition there are some cases when people deliberately use these sites to communicate with and/or form inappropriate relationships with children and young people.

Guidance

Employees who choose to make use of social networking site/media should be advised as follows:-

  • That they familiarise themselves with the sites 'privacy settings' in order to ensure that information is not automatically shared with a wider audience than intended.
  • That they do not conduct or portray themselves in a manner which may:-

o bring the nursery into disrepute;

o lead to valid parental complaints;

o be deemed as derogatory towards the nursery and/or its employees;

o be deemed as derogatory towards children and/or parents and carers;

o bring into question their appropriateness to work with children and young people.

Staff need to refer parents back to nursery if any questions are asked of them regarding children or nursery policies and not discuss them on any social media.

Staff should not disclose any information about other staff members, children or parents from the nursery, without prior consent from the individual involved.

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Hi

 

This recent article about safeguarding may be of help:

http://eyfs.info/articles/_/leadership-and-management/safeguarding-is-effective-safe-staff-r194

 

Quite a useful paragraph that starts:

Make sure your staff fully understand their responsibilities regarding e-safety. They should be leading by example and so their use of social media and the internet should be beyond reproach. I always tell my staff “If you wouldn’t stand in my office and show me the photo and be proud of it then don’t put it online”. You should have as part of your staff contracts a statement about action that you would take if staff ‘bring the nursery into disrepute’ – this is important from an e-safety point of view.

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  • 1 year later...

Sorry to jump on an old post. We have a fairly new social media policy, it states staff shouldn't have parents as friends unless they knew them beforehand. Not to post anything about parents, children, colleagues. Not to say anything that could bring the setting into disrepute (basically the PLA policy).

 

Our setting is very much community orientated and parents and staff know each other. We have one member of staff that is quite well known in the community, they know alot of current and old parents and they get involved in lots of local events and projects etc which is great and what our setting is about. However, they are quite vocal on the local facebook community page about political beliefs etc (setting is not mentioned however). It came up in a meeting on whether this is something we should be reviewing as parents could see and it 'could' have an affect on the setting say for example if a parent didn't agree with their view. Just wanted thoughts really. I personally believe they are entitled to their opinion re beliefs etc but wanted to see what others think. Thanks

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