Promoting Well-Being Through Relationship Building: The Role of Smartphone Technology in Foster Care

Ramona W. Denby, Efren Gomez, Keith A Alford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mindful of the tremendous risk factors that foster youths encounter, a federal demonstration project sought to increase their protective factors and to mitigate their adverse experiences. The ability to form and maintain healthy relationships is a key protective factor as it helps youths navigate life’s challenges, especially those challenges that result from unresolved loss and grief as a result of being in care. The study was guided by a relational competence framework. The youths were issued smartphones, and their social service providers were given a Web-based application designed to increase communication between the foster youths, their providers, and their mentors. Findings reveal several favorable outcomes associated with the use of the smartphones but also several unintended negative consequences. Recommendations for balancing youths’, caregivers’, and providers’ needs, positions, and rights are discussed. Likewise, the authors discuss the study’s implications for program development that utilizes smartphone technology to increase youths’ ability to experience healthy relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-208
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Technology in Human Services
Volume34
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2 2016

Fingerprint

Smartphones
well-being
Technology
Aptitude
Demonstrations
Mentors
Program Development
Grief
Communication
ability
grief
Social Work
Mental Competency
Caregivers
mobile social services
service provider
caregiver
Smartphone
experience
communication

Keywords

  • Foster care
  • foster youths
  • relationship building
  • smartphones
  • technology
  • well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

Promoting Well-Being Through Relationship Building : The Role of Smartphone Technology in Foster Care. / Denby, Ramona W.; Gomez, Efren; Alford, Keith A.

In: Journal of Technology in Human Services, Vol. 34, No. 2, 02.04.2016, p. 183-208.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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