Emma’s Fostering Blogs are by an experienced foster carer who gives you an honest and revealing insight into the ups and downs of foster care. A great resource for other carers and those interested in becoming carers.

Fostering Blogs

Social Media

Emma’s fostering blog

‘social media’

It’s a tricky one managing social media and I guess we need to understand it’s a connection to their world which is very different to when I was a teenager. All we can do is help them to learn what is and isn’t appropriate.

We know our teens will push boundaries as they push for independence and adulthood. With Sam who is 12 years old it’s easier there are apps that can limit and see what she can use, and I can see where she is when she is out. For now she is accepting of this but as she gets older I’m sure she will rebel. We have an agreement between us I find this helps especially when she is arguing with me about how unfair everything is.

Mobile phones are a way of life, it’s their socialising, it’s their friendship groups, it’s how they learn, socialise, learn about the outside world, get music, learn about fashion – all the things children want to do. Everything is about social media and she is a natural at finding ways around the internet and social media. I go on training and just keep up with news on social media in general because I need to.

Rosie is 15 years old and she on the other hand has a very inappropriate attitude on social media, and before coming here she got herself involved in very risky and dangerous situations and for this reason, It’s such a pity that she has to have her internet restricted, but my primary concern is keeping her safe, and this can be so very hard to do.

I believe our role is to help them learn to keep safe in a digital world as well as a real world. I have to have a certain amount of trust that they will abide by the rules and when they don’t the phones are confiscated. At bedtime all phones are left downstairs so they can get a good night’s sleep.

There are reports that Insufficient sleep in adolescence has been linked to a range of mental health problems, obesity and poor performance at school and sleep being disturbed by notifications, and the temptation to continue online conversations into the early hours. We also restrict the internet for Sam, we have apps to keep her safe and she has to use it downstairs when we are around, we don’t allow any social media in her room.

My thoughts are no one app or setting can keep children and young people safe online, which means you need to start talking to your foster children about your concerns.

Without boundaries, kids just keep exploring. The rule; “If you wouldn’t say it, do it, or watch it with me in the room, it’s not okay.” I check their phones and tablets regularly.

Emma – A Blogging Foster Carer – I Love What I Do!

Fostering Blogs

Fostering Teens

Emma’s fostering blog

Teens

Sam hasn’t been with me very long, often I find in the beginning most children are not used to having boundaries or people just caring, they have been hurt, rejected, and neglected.

I know with Sam I need to be calm, firm but fair in attitude with consistent boundaries, and this will take time in building trust on both sides. Today we are putting together a family contract establishing boundaries and expectations on both sides. I have found from experience this works well as they invest and feel part of the decision, we both sign it and we get to keep a copy each.

When Sam stays within the agreed boundaries, she gets extra treats, of course Sam will mess up at times and this is part of learning then there will be sanctions like loss of internet or i-pad. I take each day as a new day type attitude so if she messed up today then tomorrow is a new day then perhaps she may try a little harder. 

It’s very important that we spend time together looking at the positives or negatives and talk about what happened.

I already know she loves praise, treats and all of us rejoicing when she has achieved.  We have younger children too and we make sure we spend time with each of them separately and Sam, Hannah and Dan love playing board games, they get very competitive which is great family fun.

Today we went to a fostering event, Hannah and Dan had a great time it’s not always easy finding things they both like.

Going today gave them all the opportunity to express themselves in a safe environment. It’s nice that they met other children who are also in foster care and from going to these types of events they have made friends.

For me, it’s important for foster carers to have opportunities to meet up its nice getting out and having fun with them but I think it’s also about the supportive community of foster carers; that friendship and support is invaluable, and together we can tackle obstacles, or any problems we have difficulty with.

Dan joined in with the seated volley ball, apparently a favourite of Prince Harry, and then the archery, golf and dodge ball. Hannah had her face painted and then went into the dance classes. Both enjoyed the African drumming workshop but I think they all found it quite amusing when I joined in.

Unfortunately Sam didn’t stop complaining about how boring the day was which was quite funny, because while she was having her hair braided she was smiling away but the minute I caught her eye she would change into sulky and this went on throughout the day.

My thoughts are that I really do love being part of those teen conversations: the intense ones and the banter!

Emma – A Blogging Foster Carer – I Love What I Do!

Fostering Blogs

Teens

Emma’s fostering blog

Teens

Sam hasn’t been with me very long, often I find in the beginning most children are not used to having boundaries or people just caring, they have been hurt, rejected, and neglected.

I know with Sam I need to be calm, firm but fair in attitude with consistent boundaries, and this will take time in building trust on both sides. Today we are putting together a family contract establishing boundaries and expectations on both sides.

I have found from experience this works well as they invest and feel part of the decision, we both sign it and we get to keep a copy each. When Sam stays within the agreed boundaries, she gets extra treats, of course Sam will mess up at times and this is part of learning then there will be sanctions like loss of internet or i-pad.

I take each day as a new day type attitude so if she messed up today then tomorrow is a new day then perhaps she may try a little harder.  It’s very important that we spend time together looking at the positives or negatives and talk about what happened.

I already know she loves praise, treats and all of us rejoicing when she has achieved.  We have younger children too and we make sure we spend time with each of them separately and Sam, Hannah and Dan love playing board games, they get very competitive which is great family fun.

Today we went to a fostering event, Hannah and Dan had a great time it’s not always easy finding things they both like. Going today gave them all the opportunity to express themselves in a safe environment. It’s nice that they met other children who are also in foster care and from going to these types of events they have made friends.

For me, it’s important for foster carers to have opportunities to meet up its nice getting out and having fun with them but I think it’s also about the supportive community of foster carers; that friendship and support is invaluable, and together we can tackle obstacles, or any problems we have difficulty with.

Dan joined in with the seated volley ball, apparently a favourite of Prince Harry, and then the archery, golf and dodge ball. Hannah had her face painted and then went into the dance classes. Both enjoyed the African drumming workshop but I think they all found it quite amusing when I joined in.

Unfortunately Sam didn’t stop complaining about how boring the day was which was quite funny, because while she was having her hair braided she was smiling away but the minute I caught her eye she would change into sulky and this went on throughout the day.

My thoughts are that I really do love being part of those teen conversations: the intense ones and the banter!

Emma – A Blogging Foster Carer – I Love What I Do!