Shiloh’s use of social media
9-year-old Shiloh* was abused by her mum’s boyfriend, removed from her family and placed into foster care. While she initially struggled to bond with her new foster family, she has now lived with them for two years - and even calls them ‘mum and dad’. She appears to be much happier and settled in her new life.
Shiloh wants a mobile phone, but her parents are worried about her birth family finding out where she lives and trying to contact her - her birth mother lost her court appeal for access due to use of alcohol and drugs, and the continuing relationship with her boyfriend.
Through one of our support services for adoptive families, Shiloh is learning about social media, including how to keep herself safe, what to do if something happens that upsets or worries her, and how to develop healthy relationships on social media. Her parents have also been supported in understanding more about the apps that Shiloh wants to use, and how they can encourage her to use social media safely and effectively.
Shiloh’s story highlights the need for education that helps vulnerable children and young people understand how to safely use social media - and how vital it is to educate parents and carers on this too.
No child should be left to cope with social media and their mental health alone.
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All stories are true. However, names and some identifying details have been changed and models used, in order to protect the privacy of the children we help.