Episode 35 How to Manage Cell Phones With Foster Kids
Seems like now a days, everyone between the ages of 5 and 105 years old has a cell phone. Naturally, with everyone else having cell phones, your foster kids will want cell phones. So, here’s some things that you need to know if you are considering allowing your kids to have cell phones.
There are Pros and Cons.
Like with anything else, there are pros and cons when it comes to foster youth having cell phones. Here’s a quick breakdown:
- It makes it easy to know where your foster kids are.
- It’s easier for them to check in.
- It is a POWERFUL MOTIVATOR.
- The responsibility of owning a cell phone is a good skill to learn.
- Cell phones are easily misused.
- They can be a source of drama and contention.
- Communication can suffer as their attention is spent on social media or games.
- The responsibility of owning a cell phone can be overwhelming.
So, here’s some things that we do.
- Cell phones are a privilege, and they can be taken away.
- Cell phones come with a lot of responsibility.
- Foster youth have to earn the privilege of having a cell phone.
- They must agree to, and sign, a “Cell Phone Agreement”.
- They must follow all the rules and expectations that are lined out in the agreement.
What does our contract look like?
Well, we try and make it a collaborative effort with input from each team member (foster youth, foster and bio parents, caseworker, and therapist). Usually we come up with it with the foster youth and get everyone else’s approval, and input if they want.
We include rules like:
- We have to know all their passwords.
- They MUST turn the phone in by a certain time each night.
- Grades have to be maintained to a certain level.
- At ANY time they have to be willing to turn their phone over to us.
Call to Action
- Let us know what you do when your foster youth wants a cell phone.
Thanks so much for listening. Stay tuned next week to hear more…
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Until next time!
Ben & Deb Pugh
The Foster Parents