FC Steve's picture

We received the following comment the the Q+A section of the site today. Good question, so I thought I'd add to the message board...

Hello, I work at the Muskie School in Maine and I am focused on youth in transition. My questions for anyone to respond is: Does cell phone use help those who are transitioning out of foster care stay connect with family and caregivers? How often do they communicate with biological and foster families? Is it useful to have a cell phone in order to stay connected to those the youth care about?

I don't have answer for this

shabbo's picture

I don't have answer for this :| http://ranklikes.com/

Thank you (Russell) for the

helenmark's picture

Thank you (Russell) for the helpful info.

Very Essential to Success

Rosalina Burton's picture

While standing with my class waiting for the word to move my tassel from one side to the other, therefore declaring my success of overcoming many obstacles, I was hollow. One of nine siblings I looked out into a massive crowd only to find two. My day didn't feel special and I excepted that I just wasn't that important. Although this is true for many this was not the case for me. In reality there were plenty of individuals that wanted to cheer me across the stage and rejoice in my triumph. I just could not let them in because in times of highest vulnerability I isolate. I have been let down so many times that I avoid situation that will give people the opportunity to do so. Inviting all the people that had supported me through out the years only to find out that they couldn't put aside one afternoon to watch me cross my high school stage would have been devastating. It would not be the first time that I had thought that my relationship with someone was more meaningful then they did and sadly it wouldn't have been the last. Looking back I regret not reaching out, not making my desires known and huge part of that was that I did not have the equipment (cellphone) to act on the small moments of bravery that arose to face my fear of abandonment, put it all on the line and allow others to choose instead of choosing for them. I think a cellphone would have gave me the opportunity to act before over thinking the situation and backing out. In short having a working cell phone is essential for my peers and myself because reaching out can be as simple as "hey" in a text message sent to a needed friend or family member. Opening up a line of communication that could then lead to deeper relationships. Three years after graduating I am still looking for my safe place where I don't feel the need to safe guard but reaching out to others with just a simple "hey" has played a huge part in building a healthy network of individuals around me who support my progress.

The answer to this would be

RussellB's picture

The answer to this would be absolutely. In this day and age, if a youth does not have a cell phone by the time they are in middle school, I think it has a variety of rather negative implications. It tells the child you don't trust them, but it also says that you, as a parent, are not interested in their whereabouts. As a parent, that is one of your most important responsibilities.

I had my first cell phone when I was 14. I think that was a rather late age to have one. I did not have a smart phone until I was 16 (which even then, was pushing it). I would not get a kid a smart phone until they are at least 16, mainly because there is more responsibility associated with it (and then there is data charges...). Having a cellphone allowed me to call my mother and other responsible adults more frequently, and I had stronger relationships with them as a result. It also allowed me to have a social life and to go out with friends, which was an important part of my teenage years.