(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

LETTER: Youth aren’t choosing phones over a loving family

Reader responds to letter writer opposed to giving cellphones to kids in care

Re: “We shouldn’t give cellphones to youth in care,” Progress Letters, June 10, 2022.

It is disappointing that you, David Peters, feel it is inappropriate to give smartphones to youth in care. You clearly do not understand how a smartphone can be life saving in a multitude of situations, including but not limited to:

• searching bus schedules;

• calling for a safe ride home: personal contacts; taxi; Uber;

• the Lifeguard App lifeguarddh.com/products/lifeguard-app;

• banking info (do they have enough money for this meal or that bus home?);

• the HEALTH App/Medical ID: Name; Age; Medical Conditions; Medical Notes; Allergies and Reactions; Medications; Blood Type; Weight; Height; Primary Language; Emergency Contacts;

• Maps/GPS;

• Camera (not just for selfies, but photo/video evidence if necessary);

• Clock/Alarms;

• Reminders (take meds, etc.);

• Calendar (appointments);

• Email;

• 911.

You say, “It is becoming more attractive for some youths to live in government care.” Do you know what it means to be in the system? It means the parent(s) were deemed incapable of providing the support, affection, attention, protection, compassion, and consideration that constitute a “safe” environment in which a child should be raised. It often means this child has experienced abuse and/or neglect. Whether that decision was made by the parent(s) or the Ministry, the fact of the matter is, it was not safe for the child.

I doubt anyone would choose a phone over a safe (and loving) family, though if you, David, have children, perhaps they would prefer living in government care with a smartphone rather than with a markedly privileged person such as yourself for a parent.

If you are a youth in care, know your rights: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social-supports/fostering/child-teens-in-care.

Tricia Tucker

• Send your letter to the editor via email to editor@theprogress.com. Please include your first and last name, address, and phone number.

• READ MORE: Chilliwack Progress Letters

BC governmentBC OpinionsFoster careLetter to the EditorLetters

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