Our secondary school Young Carers have decided to create a WhatsApp group for peer support. To be part of the WhatsApp group Young Carers must use their own personal number and not a family members or friends.
Our young carers have put the following rules together for the group – these rules will be available in the group description on WhatsApp and are outlined below. There will be several moderators who will monitor the group.
What is discussed in the group stays in the group – The group is confidential and what is discussed among members must not be discussed with friends outside of the group – The group has been set up to support each other in a safe place. Remember that this group is for registered Young Carers only, so you cannot add friends/family into the group.
No swearing or offensive language – The group is a safe and happy place for all young carers and swearing and offensive language is not allowed.
Respect each other – Everyone in the group must respect each other and not argue, offend or shout at each other. Racist or offensive language is not allowed.
NEWCIS is setting this up as a facilitator. We are not responsible for what happens in the group. Everyone must adhere to the rules. Failing to abide by the rules will result in being removed from the WhatsApp Group.
WhatsApp Behaviour Agreement
At NYC we want all of our Secondary School Young Carers to be able to join the WhatsApp Group. As part of this, we have certain expectations around Young Carers and staff behaviours. Having the above rules might seem a bit boring and like school but we have to do our best to make sure that everyone is kept safe, knows what is expected of them regarding their behaviour and that there are very clear consequences for different types of behaviour.
Young Carers and staff will work together to produce and regularly review the WhatsApp group rules to make sure that everyone has a say about the types of behaviours that are and are not okay. We know that sometimes people have different ideas and as such, we will work together as a team to make sure that the rules we have are acceptable and reasonable for all. Within the WhatsApp group we want to do our best to encourage positive behaviour and will do our best to tell you when something has gone well, or you have been particularly kind or helpful. Sometimes things can go a bit wrong and the behaviour you choose may not be something we want in the WhatsApp group. The staff are there to help you with this and look at what happened and how you can make a better choice next time. We have a plan to do this which means that everyone is treated fairly.
Step 1 – We will talk to you about what happened
A member of staff will talk about what went wrong and why. They will remind you of the rules that the group have chosen and help you to understand why your behaviour has broken that rule. They will help you to think of a different way to act should the same situation happen again, you can talk to the staff at any time about things you might be finding hard or are struggling with. The staff will also talk to anyone else involved in what happened if they made a poor behaviour choice as well.
Step 2 – We will remind you
If you make a poor behaviour choice again a staff member will take you to one side remind you of the rules and the previous conversation and ask you not to use the behaviour again, they will discuss different ways in which you can behave. They will talk to you about what will happen should you make another poor choice about your behaviour again which would mean us having to let your parent or carer know what has happened.
Step 3 – We will make it clear the behaviour is not acceptable
Staff will talk to you and remind you that we have already spoken to you twice about the behaviour and that we need to let your parents/carer what has happened. You and they will also be told what will happen if it happens again which will be that you will be taken out of the WhatsApp group.
Step 4 – You will have to leave the WhatsApp Group
If the behaviour happens again, we will have to ask you to leave the WhatsApp Group. We do not want it to get to this point, however, we need to think about what is best for the whole group and if you haven’t or don’t want to listen to the staff we will have no other choice than to ask you to leave the group. We will call your parent/carer and let them know we have had to remove you from the group.
We haven’t written this to put you off joining the WhatsApp group but it is really important to us that you know what we expect from you and other young carers. Please ask us if you have any questions about behaviour and the consequences of it. If you ever find yourself struggling in the WhatsApp group with other young carers or staff, then please speak to one of us about it. We want you to join the group and enjoy yourself.
Please also note your mobile phone number will be visible in the group and people may be able to contact you individually from seeing your number.
Now we need you and your parent/carer to sign to say you have read and understood the rules: