Foster Care and Electronics: Things You Need to Consider

Foster parents expect foster children to follow and respect house rules. This includes a foster home’s rules on electronics. Let’s take a well-rounded look at the topic of foster care and electronics.

Foster care and electronics are a growing concern for foster parents as electronics become not only popular but a way of life for most of us.

In today’s world, electronics are unavoidable. Children who are shielded from electronics lack the necessary skills to succeed in everyday life.

So how do we balance house rules with the realization that foster children need familiarity with electronics to equip them with the needed skills that today’s life requires?

Caring for foster children is a big responsibility, and parenting requires we have rules and guidelines for children to follow while living at home as a minor. So how do foster parents handle house rules and electronics?

Teen boy wearing earbuds and using the laptop.

Electronics Necessity for Children Reality Check

Computer skills are necessary for today’s environment, and they are even required to correctly operate a cash register.

These abilities are especially necessary for foster children if they are to succeed once they age out of the foster care system or become too old for the system to care for them.

There are no foster parents, child welfare organizations, or birth family members to aid or provide for foster children who have aged out of the system.

Across the globe, the majority of foster children of all ages struggle in school, with a large number of them dropping out each year.

In reality, only a small fraction of foster children who reach adulthood go on to college.

It’s made even more difficult by a lack of financial skills, work experience, social skills, and other sorts of training, as well as a lack of assistance from family and concerned adults.

Furthermore, because many foster children do not complete high school, it is difficult for them to find a job that can support them financially.

Additionally, the majority lack the requisite skills, training, or instruments to secure permanent employment.

Many foster children who reach adulthood turn to drugs and even criminality, leading to jail time.

In reality, the amount of inmates in jail at any one moment who have had some form of foster care in their life is startling, at well over seventy percent.

Most foster children face a grim future as they age out of a system that may have failed to provide them with the resources, training, and support they require to be successful or even make a good contribution to society.

Computer skills are especially important for these children and young people if they wish to find work in today’s more competitive environment, where jobs are becoming increasingly harder to come by.

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The Challenges for Foster Children

Schools are a challenging setting for foster children, and far too often, these foster children are unable to manage the demands and responsibilities imposed on them while enrolled in school.

Many foster children have difficulty with reading and math. Furthermore, children in foster care frequently struggle to maintain appropriate classroom behavior during the school day.

School has served as a continual reminder that they are foster children without a permanent home on several occasions.

The constant reminder that their friends live with biological family members while they do not is a tough reality for them to accept, and it can present itself in a variety of ways.

Some foster children retreat and become anti-social in an attempt to get away from the situation and world into which they have been thrown.

For many foster children, violent conduct becomes the norm as they act out in a negative and disruptive manner not just at school but also in their foster family, resulting in yet another move to a new foster home and school.

Simply said, school is typically the last place a foster child wants to be, as survival takes precedence over academics.

Times Have Evolved

Textbooks have been used to teach kids reading, writing, and arithmetic for decades.

For years, students would bring numerous textbooks home with them each night, working late into the evening on the next day’s homework.

To figure out how to spell complex words, a handy dictionary would be useful. On weekends, kids would go to a neighboring library and look up material in encyclopedias.

Books were, without a doubt, necessary for a student’s education.

In addition, these young students were obliged to take paper, pencils, and pens with them every day, all of which were frequently kept in a folder or binder, as many lessons needed a lot of writing.

Foster children can benefit from online research in a variety of ways.

To begin with, because many foster children are behind in their schoolwork as a result of frequent disruptions or transferring from one family to another, online research helps them to swiftly catch up.

Because the quantity of information available on the internet is so large and comprehensive in many subjects, the foster child/student can save substantial time when performing research.

Foster parents can also better assist their struggling foster children with homework because many types of material are easily available to even the most inexperienced user.

Without a question, youngsters are far better computer users than many adults. Remember when parents would enlist the assistance of their children when using a VCR machine?

When it comes to all things computer-related, today’s adults seek their children for assistance, and today’s youngsters are fearless in this regard.

However, it is critical for the academically challenged foster child’s success that the foster parent aids the child with schoolwork, and internet research is one way for the foster parent to better assist the child in their home.

Simple academic-based organizing skills are frequently absent among foster children since many come from backgrounds and households that did not promote or support school and education.

Foster children may acquire these basic skills when it comes to internet research because many web-based research services allow users to categorize materials using keywords.

Foster children may also better arrange their resources on their laptops by using folders and distinct tabs.

Foster children may better store their materials and resources utilizing the simple copy and paste approach, which is far faster and easier than taking notes from a textbook, as traditional students did until recently.

Online research, to be sure, has the potential to improve a foster child’s academic development and achievement.

Can a Foster Child Have a Cell Phone?

With so many rules to juggle and consider, the use of cell phones by foster children stirs up some controversial feelings. Can a foster child have a cell phone?

A foster child can have a cell phone providing their foster parents allow cell phone use by the foster child. If most children have cell phones, then it may be best to consider getting your foster child a cell phone so they don’t feel isolated and alone. Familiarity with technology today is a necessity.

The type of phone doesn’t matter as much as simply making sure your foster child is socially in the loop with others their age.

Foster parents have the right to supervise a foster child’s cell phone use and take it away as a punishment if needed. It’s important, however, to not deprive a foster child of the basics to be socially involved.

Some may say they cannot afford to equip their foster child with a cell phone.

In today’s world, having a cell phone is practically a necessity. Refurbished cell phones can be purchased at a significantly reduced cost.

So how can a foster parent afford to cover the cost of a cell phone for their foster child? Simple. Foster parents can use the money provided to them each month for the care of their foster child.

The monthly stipend that foster parents receive is for the foster child and is not meant to improve the foster parent’s standard of living.

All that is needed is the decision to provide a foster child with a cell phone so they may communicate with their peers and not feel left out of life.

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Can Foster Parents Take a Foster Child’s Phone Away?

There may be times when foster parents feel that a fitting punishment may be to take away a foster child’s cell phone. So can a foster parent take a foster child’s phone away?

Foster parents can take a foster child’s phone away as a means of punishment. Social communication on a cell phone could also terminate by restricting wifi access from the home’s router. Foster children need to socialize, so a permanent removal of a cell phone is not recommended.

It’s important to take into consideration the long-term effects of terminating a foster child’s means of social communication with their peers.

Foster children have been uprooted from their biological families, and often have moved from foster home to foster home.

One thing that remains the same for these foster children are their connections with their friends. How difficult it must be to go through a new living situation after a new living situation.

The one thing that they can count on that keeps them sane is knowing they can pick up their phone and connect with the one thing they can count on…their friends on their phone.

Why Can’t You Show Foster Kids on Social Media?

Sharing family photos on social media can be a fun experience. We all do it, as does everyone else who participates in social media. So why can’t you show foster kids on social media?

Foster parents are prohibited from posting any photograph of a foster kid on social media that might lead to the child’s identification. It’s equally critical not to post personal information about your child in care on the internet. This jeopardizes and infringes on the child’s right to privacy.

However, as social media has become an integral part of most people’s daily lives, including foster children’s, many parents have discovered methods to share their images and memories without infringing on the rights of the children in their care.

Ways to Share Photographs of Your Foster Children on Social Media

  • Cover any identifying traits of the youngster with a digital sticker, such as those available on Instagram and Snapchat.
  • Crop the image to eliminate the frame’s distinguishing elements.
  • In addition to the aforementioned, utilize nicknames or merely their first initials when referring to the children in writing.

Experts Weigh In On Teens, Screen Time, and Mental Health

Across all demographic categories, 95 percent of kids aged 13 to 17 years use cell phones, with 45 percent of teens reporting near-constant internet use.

In comparison to past generations, today’s teenager spends less time in person with classmates, and technology has a variety of effects on their identity and sociability.

Technology is also changing the mental health environment, with substantial consequences for physicians who work with adolescents.

Teenagers, for example, typically hide their internet behavior from their parents but may discuss it with mental health specialists, which might pose ethical and clinical issues.

Furthermore, only a small percentage of the ever-growing number of mental health applications are evidence-based, and some of them sell user data.

In comparison to comparable data from the mid-2000s, more teenagers and young adults, particularly girls and young women, are reporting being melancholy and nervous.

Suicides are also on the rise during that time period, particularly among girls aged 10 to 14.

These patterns are the subject of a scientific debate.

With practically every youngster owning a smartphone these days, one theory that has gained a lot of momentum is that digital media is responsible for the deterioration of mental health.

However, other scholars contend that this notion isn’t adequately supported by facts and that it repeats a “moral panic” argument that has been made many times before concerning video games, rap lyrics, television, and even radio in its early days.

Many studies have looked at the impact of television on society, particularly on children and teenagers, and many have shown both good and bad impacts.

The developmental stage of a kid is a key component in deciding whether a medium will have positive or negative impacts on them.

Not all television shows are terrible, but statistics demonstrating the harmful consequences of violence, improper sexuality, and foul language are compelling.

Nonetheless, doctors must urge further study on the harmful and beneficial impacts of media on children and adolescents.

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Trina Greenfield - Adoption Author

About the Author:
Trina Greenfield is passionate about providing information to those considering growing their family. Trina does not run an adoption agency. Her website is strictly information-based, so she is able to provide unbiased, credible information that she hopes will help guide those along their journey.