This is a great resource from AdoptUSKids regarding the use of social media by foster or adopted teens. The reality is that social media is an increasingly huge part of most teens lives but at this age, good judgement isn’t always a well-developed skill. This holds even more true for kids who have come from difficult starts to life in the foster system or who have experienced traumatic relationships, abuse or neglect prior to adoption. AdoptUSKids lays out the risks and the benefits, as well as some tools for parents to use when thinking through the degree, frequency and type of social media interactions for their teen.
“… for every potential risk of using social media, there’s a potential benefit. Social media can help teens meet and connect with friends, maintain contact with positive influences from the past, stay in touch with birth family when appropriate, participate in support groups, and gain access to information and resources. Social media can also help parents stay connected to teens – and informed about their thoughts, feelings, and activities.
Rather than prohibit social media use, many parents report that it’s easier to help teens use social media effectively and responsibly.”
Additionally, this resource from the Child Welfare Information Gateway also has some really important tips and safeguards for families to consider when working out social media usage with their foster and/or adoptive teens.