Fidelis Care Offers Support, Guidance for Families on Cyberbullying
Helping Families Ensure the Safety of Digital Spaces
With an increase in the amount of time children are spending online for school and other activities, cyberbullying has become a growing concern for families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the negative impact cyberbullying can have on a child’s physical and mental health, Fidelis Care is working to raise awareness of the issue and provide families with helpful resources and support.
According to stopbullying.gov, cyberbullying is bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. It includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about another individual – information that may be intended to cause embarrassment or humiliation. Some cyberbullying crosses the line into unlawful or criminal behavior.
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“As children have more access to technology, and spend more time online – either for school or with friends – the issue of cyberbullying has become more prevalent,” explained pediatrician Dr. Lisa Moreno, Fidelis Care Medical Director. “Parents and caregivers have a critical role to play, and we want them to have the tools and resources they need to encourage a safe online atmosphere for children.”
Working with the New York State PTA and the New York Edge, which is the largest provider of afterschool programs in all five boroughs of New York City and the metropolitan region, Fidelis Care will host two “Parenting in a Digital Age” webinars focused on helping families from each organization ensure online safety for their children. Additionally, players from the New York City Football Club will be featured in special videos encouraging children to balance screen time with healthy activities and outdoor play time.
“Cyberbullying, especially now with increased remote and online instruction, continues to be a critical issue facing students,” said Kyle Belokopitsky, NYS PTA Executive Director. “We look forward to working together with Fidelis Care to support children and raise awareness of this critical issue. Now is the time we must support ALL children, especially in this new virtual normal.”
“As children’s time online increases, particularly during the pandemic, it may become increasingly challenging to identify signs of cyberbullying that parents and educators would normally pick up on in the classroom,” added Rachael Gazdick, CEO of New York Edge. “Early detection is key to addressing cyberbullying, and it’s critical that parents have access to resources that will enable them to identify warning signs and provide the help their children need.”
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