Commit to Scientific Integrity and Effective Practice
There are no research-based best practices in this field. To ensure a likelihood of success, it is necessary to implement approaches that are informed by accurate research into the concerns and implement the use of practices that have demonstrated effectiveness in other areas of youth risk prevention.
Ensure Ongoing Assessment and Evaluation
Ongoing local assessment and evaluation are critical to ensure success. Use of local surveying of students to support needs assessment, positive norms instruction, and evaluation is recommended. Schools must specifically evaluate the effectiveness of interventions.
Engage in Multidisciplinary Collaboration
Effectively addressing youth risk in the digital age will require a multidisciplinary collaborative approach that involves educators, mental health professionals, and law enforcement. Comprehensive approaches must be ground in solid policies and practices, provide professional development, present student and parent education, and ensure ongoing evaluation.
Foster Restoration and Reconciliation
Interventions should be designed to hold young people accountable for any wrongdoing in a manner that fosters restoration and reconciliation. This will enable all young people to remain in safe school and digital communities.
Reinforce Positive Norms
Universal education must promote the positive norms and effective practices held by the majority of the students. This can be accomplished through student-led constructive instruction, use of older students to teach younger students, and messaging ground in the insight derived through the local surveys.
Strengthen Effective Skills
Constructive instruction can also help students gain skills through sharing of effective practices and strategies. Effective skills include problem-solving and decision-making. Students must also recognize possible negative influences related to the use of technologies, as well as the influences for making positive choices.
Encourage Helpful Allies
Many times young people interact in digital environments where no responsible adults are present. As helpful allies, young people can provide support to a peer who is at risk or being harmed, challenge irresponsible or hurtful behavior, and report unresolved or serious concerns.