Making a difference to the digital lives of young people :)

minute reads

How children in care benefit from the digital world (in their own words)

The digital world can offer some young people a place of refuge, where they feel safe, more connected and even more powerful.

Young people with experience of care told us that they benefit from being online because...

They can feel connected and supported

‘My phone makes me feel safe ‘cos I can call my foster carer if I need help.’ Girl, 12

‘I tried on this top and texted my foster carer asking if I should buy it. She said, send a photo and we decided it was great, so I got it.’ Girl 14

‘The internet is a window on the world’. Boy, 14

‘I can call my sister and it really helps’

If contact with the birth family is allowed, it can help a child to settle and stop worrying about their mum.

It can be an escape from worries and anxiety

‘It helps me escape my issues.’ Boy, 16

‘I can manage my moods by playing games on my phone.’ Boy, 15

'It stops me feeling bored - when I'm bored, worries come.' Girl 13

It can be an equaliser

‘I feel like other people when I’m online.’

‘When I play games with my friends, it doesn’t matter that I’m in a wheelchair.’

‘I love my avatar ‘cos I never get flak about how I look.’

 New opportunities

‘I make my own tracks’

‘I like learning to draw anime faces'

‘I watch these videos on bowling in cricket and I learn how to do it.’

‘I’m interested in coding.’

‘I look at maps of the world and learn about these places’

'I am learning to play guitar online.'

 Relaxation and fun

‘I listen to my music and I watch my favourite vloggers’

‘It’s my whole social life’

‘My entertainment is all online.’

‘I’ve got these apps to help me feel calm.’

‘All day and night I talk to my friends.’

 ‘My phone makes me feel safe ‘cos I can call my foster carer if I need help.’
 Girl, 12

Future jobs

Since the pandemic, what was a shortage of workers with digital skills, has become more acute: Workers’ lack of basic skills required in the digital age are thought to hold companies back. Research found that one in six UK workers have either low or no digital skills.

Hobbies can be turned into “high-rewarding job opportunities”.

Young people with digital skills will be assured of steady well-paid work.

Digital Citizenship

As governments interact with their citizens only online and healthcare is increasingly delivered online, it becomes vital for young people to be able to fill in forms, search for information, or apply for something. 

Young people will need to be able to find their way around using a map on their phone, check a timetable for a bus or train, or look up what they need to know. 

Sorting out truth from the misinformation is essential and young people can look up the facts, check a story that is circulating or find facts on health.

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A consortium to support fostering in a digital age