You are here: Online Safety Parent Toolkit / Plan

Young people need to know where to get help before an online incident happens as it can be difficult to think clearly when you’re trying to work things out in the moment.  The plan step of the Online Safety Parent Toolkit provides advice and guidance on helping your kids understand how they can get help and where you want them to go.


Let your child know the options available to them if they are experiencing online challenges. Do you want them to talk to you, whānau, a trusted adult, their school or Netsafe? This is something you best agree on together.


It is usually a big step when young people seek help with an online incident. Netsafe’s research shows that many young people choose not to seek support when something goes wrong online. They often ignore the problem or try to fix it themselves or think their parents will take the technology away as a first step.

If a young person comes to you, focus on fixing the issue, not on punishing those involved or confiscating their devices – even if they did something wrong. If you take away their access to technology, then you’re less likely to be the first port of call next time something happens. Netsafe has created the Family Safe Online Treaty to help guide these conversations, and make the experience easier.


As a parent it can be hard to think about things going very wrong for your child online. In the case of an urgent situation it’s worth having an understanding of what services are available and when you should contact them just in case. We’ve put together a list of services you can turn to if you or your child need help.

  • Police – Call 111. If your child is in risk of imminent danger or a crime is being committed contact 111 immediately for help.
  • Netsafe – Call 0508 NETSAFE (0508 638 723), email [email protected] or report online. Netsafe can provide help and support with online challenges including online bullying, harassment and abuse.
  • Youthline – Call 0800 376 633, Free TXT 234 or email [email protected] Youthline provides a free counselling service for young people.
  • Lifeline Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 TAUTOKO (0508 828 865). A free 24 hour suicide crisis helpline operated by trained counsellors.
  • Need to Talk – Free text or call 1737. A free 24 hour call or text helpline operated by trained counsellors.
  • Department of Internal Affairs – To report objectionable material, such as online child sexual exploitation and abuse, go the DIA website
  • WellStop (Wellington) – Make a referral online.A service to prevent sexual abuse by providing support for concerning or harmful sexual behaviour.
  • SAFE Network (Auckland) – 09 377 9898 ext 700 or make a referral online. A service to prevent sexual abuse by providing support for concerning or harmful sexual behaviour.
  • STOP (Christchurch) – 03 353 0257 or [email protected] A service to prevent sexual abuse by providing support for concerning or harmful sexual behaviour.
  • Help (Auckland) – 09 623 1700 or [email protected] A free 24 hour helpline to support victims of sexual assault.
  • What’s Up – 0800 942 8787 or via online chat. A free helpline service to support children and teens.
  • Kidsline – 0800 KIDSLINE (0800 54 37 54). A free helpline service to support children.
  • Rape Prevention Education – Contact online. Provides education and information to prevent sexual violence.
  • Shine – 0508 744 633. A free helpline to provide support to people who have been victims of family violence.
  • Ministry for Vulnerable Children – Oranga Tamariki – 0508 326 459 or [email protected] Government agency responsible for protecting children.
  • The Parenting Place – 0800 53 56 59. Support service providing parenting advice.


You’re currently within the ‘Plan’ section of our Online Safety Parent Toolkit where we encourage families to work out what to do if things go wrong and where to seek help.

This is the final step in our seven-step framework designed to help parents and whānau with digital parenting in a rapidly changing world.  We recommend reading through each step of the Toolkit as this will guide you on how to support your child to confidently access digital opportunities and reduce online harm.


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