Professional Development Workshops & Consultations

Since 2001, when technology began to significantly impact, particularly high-risk,  B.C. youth, Merlyn Horton has delivered workshops and presentations to youth-serving professionals: social services, public health, women’s health, law enforcement, women’s shelters, and education.

Topics covered are as diverse as educational technology, practice policy development, personnel policy development, online risk assessment for sexual offenders, and meeting the needs of diverse client group such as those with hearing, developmental or physical challenges.

Contact us if you have specific concerns or content you would like delivered to your organization or group. We feel confident in our reputation and invite you to see our website for some testimonials or contact us directly about a reference we can provide in your area of B.C.

» Book Online or contact SafeOnline at 1.604.615.7899 to discuss your requirements.

Cyberspace: Youthwork Frontier

This workshop will equip youth-focused professionals with tools to cope with the complications that technology can create for these youth and their families. The presentation will cover a description of online environments, responsible online behaviours, high-risk behaviours of youth online and their consequences, and specific recommendations for how to respond to these issues.

» Book Online or contact SafeOnline at 1.604.615.7899 to discuss your requirements.

Positive Digital Citizenship in the Classroom

Technology is impacting schools, teaching and learning. The challenges of teaching  in the age of hand-held devices are stretching many educators capacity.

This three-hour workshop will give educators ideas on how to promote positive digital citizenship, improve online safety and utilize online resources within the classroom.  This Workshop will give you knowledge to help prepare students use technology in ways that are personally and socially responsible. Afterwards, participants will be given with a link to our online source material and research, additional references and follow up classroom activities.

» Book Online or contact SafeOnline at 1.604.615.7899 to discuss your requirements.

The Internet & At-Risk Homeless Populations

This presentation uses multimedia and compelling case studies to examine the impact of technology on homeless populations. Included is a review of the current Canadian research on the topic and examples that illustrate some of the trends in mobile and social media use by homeless populations in Canada.

Suggestions for Internet safety, raising awareness for staff and clients, as well as online resources specific to at-risk populations will be provided to participants.

» Book Online or contact SafeOnline at 1.604.615.7899 to discuss your requirements.

Technology & Victims of Domestic Violence

People fleeing domestic violence face a unique set of challenges now that much of their private support, family communications and access to services may be online.  This workshop covers online risk for this group and what victim services and women’s shelter staff can do to help keep clients safe; risks to victims of social violations via social media sites, stalking, and child custody. All academic studies, statistics, resource material and information will be made available to participant following the workshop.

» Book Online or contact SafeOnline at 1.604.615.7899 to discuss your requirements.

Young Families, Social Media & Providing Support Services

Many professionals are  becoming concerned about how parenting behaviour is being affected by technology. Some think that parents are ‘disconnected’ and that face-to-face relationships are taking a back seat to online obsessions.  This workshop will overview the challenges, and some suggestions for supporting parents to make good on and offline choices. Targeted at childcare professionals working with children 6 and under, we will examine the implications and effects that technology is having on children 6 and under and their families. We will look at the use of social media in relationship to programs and participants.

» Book Online or contact SafeOnline at 1.604.615.7899 to discuss your requirements.

The What, Where and Why of Using Your Personal Device with Clients and Persons Served

The Challenges:

  • Teaching individuals served how to be safe online
  • Teaching stakeholders, frontline staff and caregivers how to be safe online
  • Having stakeholders understand the need to adhere to organizational policy regarding the use of technology with persons served
  • Having technology policies that are realistic and logical

Training for Frontline Staff and Care Givers
Workshops will educate and empower frontline caregivers by;

  • Teaching them the basics of internet safety so they can teach the people they serve and by learning themselves, become better online role models
  • Showing them how to use their personal devices in professional contexts, the benefits of using reputable and/or sanctioned electronic communications with clients and the pro-social, positive environments online for all individuals.

Facilitated by Merlyn Horton, this training takes an energizing, pro-technology approach to the issues of technology and human-service delivery empowering frontline staff and caregivers through a positive, educational day of thought-bombs and resources. Far from a death-by-powerpoint, Horton’s humorous stories and multi-media slide presentations are information rich, academically referenced and thoroughly engaging. All stakeholders will learn how to strengthen connections with persons served in productive, boundaries and professional ways both online and off.


Please contact SafeOnline for customized professional workshops to meet the needs of professional educators, law enforcement, youth workers or other concerned groups. Workshops are tailored for content and length according to requirements — two hour to full day workshops from $1200.