Help build TRUST with our safe phone toolkit

If your child is about to get their first phone or a new device, then it’s a great idea to plan ahead for how they will use it safely. The NSPCC have created this toolkit to make it easier for your family to feel confident about starting this journey together.

Keeping your kids safe on their phone

Trust is important when getting a first phone - parents need to be able to trust their kids with a phone, and kids want to feel trusted by their parents. To feel confident about a child’s safety when using their first phone, it is all about building this trust together - as a family.

The NSPCC’s toolkit will lead you through all the important aspects of trust with their handy acronym:

Exploring the different the sections of the acronym T.R.U.S.T will give you and your child opportunities to start conversations around their first phone to make it an enjoyable and safe experience. When you’re ready to make a start, go to T - Talking about safe and healthy phone use.

After you’ve worked your way through each section of the toolkit activities, it’ll be time to set up a family phone pledge - this is your chance to agree some rules and boundaries together for how your child uses their new phone.

Your family phone pledge

Now you’ve started on your journey of building trust together, it’s a great time to set up a family phone pledge. This is a chance for you to agree some rules and boundaries together for how you will use your new phone.

Every family is different and there’s no one set of rules which will work for all. This guide will help you create a personalised agreement that works for your family. You’ll use what you have learned throughout the NSPCC trust toolkit to decide what your main priorities are as a family and how you’ll make sure that you all feel confident taking this first phone journey together. Remember this journey is all about trust, so being open and honest should be at the heart of your agreement.

Making your family phone pledge

Take a look at our top tips below to help get you started and visit Vodafone’s Digital Family Pledge to record your agreement.

This is a great opportunity to find an approach that really works for you and your child and to each feel part of the rule-setting process. It's important for your child to feel that their voice is being heard. Their first phone is a moment of independence and one that can be filled with fun and excitement. Being a part of the decisions around how your child uses their new phone will help them to feel empowered in this first step of the journey.
If other people will be closely involved with your child’s first phone, such as another parent, sibling or family member, it's a good idea to discuss this agreement with them, or all complete it together.

Top tips for making your pledge

After you’ve completed the toolkit and made your family pledge, it’s important to keep talking and working together so your child continues to use their new phone safely.
For more helpful tips and advice, check out our Digital Parenting Hub.

Frequently asked questions

Safer Internet Day takes place globally in February of each year to raise awareness of a safer and better internet for all, and especially for children and young people. 

The TRUST toolkit is designed by the NSPCC in partnership with Vodafone to help parents, carers and children navigate the online world for the first time together. With helpful activities and tips, families can use the toolkit to plan ahead for how they will use devices safely.  

Vodafone’s Digital Family Phone Pledge  is a chance for families to agree some rules and boundaries together for how each person will use their phones for things like screen time, online behaviour and more.

There are lots of positives that having a mobile phone can bring for children, from staying in touch with family and friends to learning about the world. However, there are some challenges, too, and the online world can be tricky for children to navigate. Sometimes it can become overwhelming for young people to feel like they are always in contact or trying to keep up with friends. Just like any other device, mobile phones can come with risks, such as unwanted contact and access to harmful content. The NPSCC toolkit of activities can help you to navigate these risks as a family and show you how to get support if you ever have concerns. A good starting point is to notice how your child is affected by using their phone. Try to: 

  • manage the content that your children see 

  • ensure the interactions they have are suitable 

  • manage how long they’re online, in balance with other activities. 

Check out the NSPCC’s advice on online wellbeing for more information.

Parental controls can help put limits on what your child sees and does when using devices. These include managing screen time and filtering out harmful content. Each family will use parental controls differently based on the ages of their children, visit Vodafone’s Digital Parenting Pro resource to find out what parental controls are available across the most popular applications, games and devices.