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Are Foster Parents Allowed to Take your Phone

Are Foster Parents Allowed to Take your Phone

The issue of foster parenting and cellphone is on the rise. While some people argue that foster parents are not allowed to take/confiscate a foster child’s phone, others argue that they are allowed. So the question remains, are foster parents allowed to take your phone?

Are foster parents allowed to take your phone? The answer to this question is a simple three-character word – YES. Foster parents are allowed to take a foster child’s phone when it’s necessary. In most cases, this happens as a form of punishment. In addition to this, it’s paramount to note at the back of our minds that foster parents cannot keep the mobile phone or electronic gadgets from you forever. Once they take the gadget, they are required to return it after 24 hours – after the situation is back to normal.

Are Foster Parents Allowed to Take Your Phone

Foster parents have the right of a biological parent. The difference is that they are controlled by state laws hence they are things that they cannot do to you as a foster child. For example, taking you away from one state to another during a vacation or for whatever reason without notifying the agency or caseworker.

Since they are parents, they can confiscate a gadget such as cell phones when necessary. This is something that you have to be aware of as a foster child.

Communication between you and your biological parents need to be limited and during the fostering period, the only time to contact them is during their visits. This means you cannot call them in the middle of the night to tell them how mean your foster home members are.

During the fostering period, one is not supposed to post his or her pictures on social media. This is because such acts might reveal information to the public which is not allowed to be known.

Are Foster Parents Allowed to Take your Phone

Even when foster parents take pictures of their foster children, they are not allowed to post them. If they have to, they have to hide any identifying information. This includes hiding the foster child’s face.

Related Post: What are Foster Parents not Allowed to Do

Social communication for a foster child is limited during the stay in the foster home. It’s because of this that one has to be aware of the dos and don’ts during fostering.

How to Take a Phone from a Foster Child 

Like other kids, foster children might react when their phones are taken away from them. Some may throw tantrums while others like teenagers might get angry and refuse to talk to you. In the worst-case scenario, you might end up getting physical with a foster teen because of a cell phone.

Foster parents should be careful about how they take the phone of foster child.

One way to take their phone is by asking them politely and communicating the reason effectively. Remember these are children and they are programmed/mandated to listen to their elders. Clearly stating the reason why they should hand over their gadget makes the process easy. They give out willingly and are aware of the reason.

Are Foster Parents Allowed to Take your Phone

Another way to take their phone is by deceiving them. Although this is not recommended it does work especially when the child is not willing to give up the phone. After getting hold of the phone, tell them the truth. This way, they know that you were serious about what you said. This is because they will try to find what made you take their phone.

Another way to take the phone is to take it at night when they are sleeping. While sleeping, people tend to place their phones on a table or in a particular place. Get to know where they put their phone, enter their room at night and take it.

Keep in mind you are taking the phone because of a justifiable reason. You should not take it because you feel like doing so.

Why Should Foster Children Have Access to Mobile Phones and Other Electronic Gadgets

In California Lifeline, the iFoster pilot program allows foster children between the age of 13 and 26 to have access to a smartphone. And it’s not smartphones only, foster children also get monthly mobile services such as data free of charge.

This is an example of how access to electronic gadgets is considered important. We are living in a digital world where more than 85% of interactions take place online.

Being a digital era, a lot has changed. Schoolchildren are using tablets and computers to do their homework. They are relying on the internet to understand or remind themselves of concepts that they did not understand in class. Even teachers are recommending the use of these gadgets and the internet as they use them themselves.

Allowing foster children to have access to phones and other electronic gadgets normalizes their experience. These gadgets are slowly replacing face-to-face interactions. They are also simplifying various things. Being tech-savvy is necessary for one to operate smoothly in today’s day to day life.

Are Foster Parents Allowed to Take your Phone

A cell phone is perceived and actually, it is a lifeline by a majority of foster children. It’s their only connection to the world they have left behind. Although they were in a toxic environment, it would be difficult for them to never talk to their friends again during the fostering period.

Since moving into a foster home is temporary, foster children need to have reassurance that they will be back. Due to this, they ought to be allowed to be in contact with their friends and access files and pictures on their phones.

Final Thoughts 

A majority number of foster children, mainly teens hesitate to go to foster homes that restrict the use of phones. With the use of social media platforms such as Facebook becoming a norm, restricting access to mobile phones can result in unanticipated reactions from children not only foster children.

It’s part of the Prudent Parent standard to monitor the content posted by their children. When they have their phones, communicate clearly to them what they should post on social media or share online.

Let it be clear to them that they are not supposed to get into contact with any unauthorized personnel.  


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