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To Sam

not allowed a phone at 12!!!

Hi Sam,

So my foster carer doesn't want me to have a phone.

and then a phew months ago she bought me a brick and she has stopped me using my ipad for no reason and social services gave me a computer to do my homework on so i have to allways delete my history.

I am going to go live back with my mum(reunification) and she said it is very likely that she will buy me an iphone But she also said that her and her boyfriend have to check with socia services now and ask what they think.

She also said that they have the last say on weather i'm allowed one or not. Which is REALLY annoying but oh well.

What age do you think we should be to have a phone?

I'm 12 btw.

Hope you can get back soon.


Ask Sam


Hi there,

It can be confusing when the rules change so quickly. Getting used to changes can be difficult, and you might feel upset or frustrated, especially when you’re not sure why things have changed. It’s usually best to talk to your parents or carers about rules and try to agree on some things.

Families can choose what rules they have and they might be different to another family. There isn’t a right or wrong answer about what age you should have a mobile phone, iPad or a computer and your parent or carer will decide what they think is the best. When you’re in foster care or you’re living away from home for another reason you might find that the rules are different to where you usually live. Whatever they are, it’s important that they are fair and that you understand why things have been done. It’s always okay to ask if you’re unsure about any decision that’s been made.

There are lots of reasons that parents or carers might not want you to have a phone. It might be to keep you safe, so that you learn how to take care of things or because of money issues. If they’ve been worried about what sites you’ve been on or about someone who’s contacting you online they might decide that it’s safer for you not to have a mobile phone or an iPad just now. Sometimes your teacher or social worker might be worried about your safety online and your parent or carer might follow advice from them about how to keep you safe.

You can ask your parent or carer about their decision to see if there is a plan that can be made, like suggesting that you have a basic phone that you can make calls on but that won’t access the internet or having your iPad for a few hours at the weekend while they check the sites you’re on and who you’re chatting to.

When you need to use a computer for homework or for a project at school you could book time to use one at your local library or ask to use one at school during your break or lunchtime if you don’t have access to one at home.

Remember, you can talk to a counsellor at Childline about anything that’s worrying you. If you don’t have a mobile phone or a computer to chat online you could call free on 0800 1111 from a landline at home. If you need to contact your social worker you could ask a Childline counsellor to help to do that or you could also ask your teacher to help you to contact social services from school.

Thank you for your letter.

Take care,


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