Social media platforms are an important part of many people’s lives. Using social media is an excellent way for children and youth in foster care to stay connected to their family and friends and to access general information. Although using social media can come with many benefits, there are also some challenges. The following resources provide guidelines for foster parents and professionals who want to help youth in care use technology and social media safely.
- Information for parents and caregivers
- Information for professionals and parents to share with youth
Information for parents and caregivers
Cyber Bullying: The Complete Resource Guide
Provides information on bullying, including how to identify and respond to cyberbullying, a breakdown of different social media types, and data and statistics.
How to Connect With Your Teen About Smart and Safe Media Use
Offers information and advice for parents on how to keep teens safe while using media such as social media, the internet, TV, movies, and texting.
How to Keep Your Teen (or Tween) Safe Online
Reviews the top online threats for teens and tweens and provides tips for parents and caregivers on how to keep youth safe from cyberbullying, sexting, identity theft, online predators, and more.
How to Protect My Foster Child on Social Media
Discusses tips for keeping foster children safe on social media and reviews topics such as posting pictures, posting about children in care, and monitoring children's activity online. Online safety resources are also included.
Keeping Children Safe Online
U.S. Department of Justice
Includes tips for parents on how to help keep kids safe online and suggests talking about internet safety, supervising children while they are online, reviewing social media sites and apps before use, adjusting privacy settings, and other measures.
Keeping Children You Foster and Adopt Safe Online
Provides insights on the risks children face online and what parents can do to navigate through the challenges.
Navigating Your Foster Child’s Social Media Presence
Washington Fosters (2021)
Includes resources and tips for foster parents or potential foster parents on how to help children in foster care use social media in a safe and healthy way.
Netsmartz for Parents and Guardians
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Links to a wide range of resources by issue (blogging, cell phones, safety, and social networking), provides videos on various topics, and offers a multimedia presentation on internet safety. Users also can subscribe to a monthly email update.
Parenting, Media and Everything in Between
Common Sense Media
Provides tips, advice, and solutions by age groups, from preschoolers through older teens (ages 15 to 17). The website can also be searched by entertainment type (apps, websites, etc.) and topic (violence, cyberbullying, and internet safety).
Social Media Guidelines: A Guide for Foster Parents and Relative Caregivers Using Social Media (PDF - 219 KB)
Oregon Department of Human Services (2017)
Guides foster parents and relative caregivers through the use of social media and discusses common social media tools, confidentiality, and things to keep in mind when posting on social networks.
Social Media Safety for Kids
T. TechSolutions (2022)
Offers tips and suggestions for parents on how to be proactive in safe social media usage for kids, regardless of the platform.
The Ultimate Parental Guide to Protecting Your Child on the Internet
Suggests age-appropriate tips to keep children safe while utilizing the internet. The guide also explains the dangers of going online and of mobile devices.
Information for professionals and parents to share with youth
Offers safety tips, advice, forums, and resources for all types of online networking. The site includes a link to Resources for Youth in Crisis.
Cyberbullying, Social Networking, and You (PDF - 558 KB)
Coalition for Children, Youth and Families, Foster Care and Adoption Resource Center (2018)
Discusses cyberbullying and strategies youth in Wisconsin can use if they are the victim of cyberbullying. Additional information includes tips for preventing online accounts from being hacked and guidelines for protection on personal publishing sites and social networking sites. A list of cyberbullying websites also is provided.
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Uses flash-based comics and videos to explain to youth how to use the internet safely. This internet safety site is also available in Spanish.
Social Media Safety
Offers tips and precautions on how to be safe when using social media.
Social Media Safety Tips for Children
Offers advice for children about staying safe on social media sites. Tips include think before you post, don't add people you don't know, never send inappropriate pictures or content, and never give your address or other personal information on social media sites.
A Teens Guide to Social Media Safety
Safe Search Kids
Provides tips for teens using social media relating to privacy settings, friend requests, posting, and other advice relating to online safety.