Technology and the fostered child: A new social work response

Simpson, Jenny (2015). Technology and the fostered child: A new social work response. Sociological Studies of Children and Youth, 19 pp. 351–367.



The advent of the Internet and social medial presents major challenges to contemporary social work involving young people and their families particularly in the sphere of fostering. This discussion paper begins an exploration of how risk and vulnerability, associated with the use of social networking, is usually managed using a traditional model that is rooted in psychologically informed social work. The discussion then moves to viewing an alternative model of social work that is informed by the sociology of childhood. An argument is made that this model can be effectively used to meet the challenges of safeguarding in a technological age. It is also argued that this alternative model provides an opportunity to develop with young people in foster care a partnership that promotes a shared goal of protection. It also offers a way of working that allows for the experiences of this group of young people to be heard and validated.

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