26 September 2023

Childrens’ safety book in line with online

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The Australian Federal Police Force has announced that every primary school in Australia has received a new picture book to help parents, carers and educators talk to children about online safety.

According to the AFP, the book, Jack Changes the Game, written by Tess Rowley and illustrated by Shannon Horsfall, was developed by the AFP’s ThinkUKnow program in partnership with the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation. (ACCCE)

Acting Assistant Commissioner of the AFP, Hilda Sirec said the book was based on a real report to the ACCCE and gave age-appropriate advice on how to recognise online child sexual exploitation, how to take action, and how to make a report to police.

“In the book, Jack meets a new online friend called ‘Footy Boy’ through his favourite game,” A/Assistant Commissioner Sirec said.

“But soon, ‘Footy Boy’ starts asking for things that make Jack feel uneasy and he begins to wonder if his new friend is the person he claims to be,” she said.

“With the support of his sister and friend, Jack finds the courage to tell his parents and together they make a report to the ACCCE and implement online safety measures at home.”

A/Assistant Commissioner Sirec said the book was a powerful resource and one that would help families around Australia begin important conversations.

She said with children spending more time online, it was important to teach them about safe practices and encourage help seeking behaviours.

Jack Changes the Game has been created as a resource to start conversations with 5- to 8-year-olds in a simple, yet effective way” she said.

A/Assistant Commissioner Sirec said Jack Changes the Game formed part of a complete ThinkUKnow learning package that included at home learning for parents and carers, a teacher’s toolkit and a student activity pack to reinforce key concepts from the book.

She said every primary school in Australia had received a printed book to share within their school community.

Further information on the AFP’s Jack Changes the Game, including an eBook version, can be accessed at this PS News link.

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