PA Family Digital Wellness Initiative Launched

PA Family Digital Wellness Initiative Launched

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By Caelin Grambau, University of Pittsburgh English Writing & Spanish double major

“Strengthen families to raise healthy kids in a digital era,” is the motto of the new Family Digital Wellness Initiative from the Pennsylvania Family State Alliance (PFSA). 

In an age where everything from school to entertainment can be found online, it’s important to consider how, where, and just exactly what kids are consuming from their digital presence.

The PA Family State Alliance’s main goal is to protect children from abuse, and educate parents, caregivers, professionals and anyone who might work with children on seeing signs of and preventing abuse. Since the Covid-19 pandemic has pushed almost everything to have a virtual option, they have now taken it upon themselves to extend their prevention and education to the digital world as well.

Angela M. Liddle, President and CEO of PFSA, spoke on the digital wellness initiative in a press release from the PFSA. She highlighted the notions that limiting a child’s screen time or taking away devices entirely are now virtually impossible. 

We have reached a time when parents and professionals can no longer just focus on limiting screen time or taking the device away in order to keep children safe—that is an outdated scenario. Because of the nature of these platforms, how rapidly technology changes, and how adept child predators have become, we need to equip families and communities with the tools and resources they need to manage their children’s usage. Digital safety is no longer enough, we must prioritize their digital wellness,” Liddle said. 

To prioritize the digital wellbeing of children, the PFSA has created a completely free online toolkit for parents, caretakers, and educators of children to utilize. The PFSA notes that the guide includes “a detailed FAQ section, tips, interactive quizzes, fact sheets, and action steps that can be tailored by families”, as stated in their press release posted in July. 

Finally, the PA Family State Alliance encourages every community with children to understand and implement what they describe as the “5 P’s”, listed below.  

  • Pause to become aware of the current digital dangers that threaten children and families;
  • Prioritize your family’s most urgent needs related to digital threats and safety;
  • Protect against current digital threats to your family by implementing a family digital safety plan;
  • Prevent the risk and harm of future digital threats to your family by practicing digital safety routinely; and
  • Practice healthy interactions with digital technologies through transparent behavior and role modeling.

To read more about the PA Family State Alliance Digital Wellness Initiative, and to download the free toolkit, head to https://pafsa.org/family-digital-wellness/.

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