The Atlantic: Facebook Groups as Therapy. “Over the past year, the company has been consciously emphasizing groups—part of an effort, per Mark Zuckerberg, to ‘give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.’ These groups cover interests ranging as widely as the human imagination. Many are ‘closed,’ which in Facebook terminology means they are findable, but only members can see their content. Some are ‘secret’ and unsearchable, and membership is by invitation only. It’s not surprising, then, that Facebook has turned into a gathering place for strangers sharing their deepest secrets.”
Youth Today: Every State’s Extended Foster Care Policies Now Available in New Database. “The Juvenile Law Center released a new tool today that could help policymakers and advocates better understand and serve older youth — those over 18 — who are aging out of foster care. The National Extended Foster Care Review is a comprehensive database that catalogues each state’s laws and policies related to extended foster care.”
The Verge: Predatory Behavior Runs Rampant In Facebook’s Addiction Support Groups. “When Laurie Couch first joined the Affected by Addiction Support Group, a closed Facebook group with 70,000 members, she felt a sense of belonging. Here were people who understood her struggle to care for a son addicted to drugs, and they were there to support her, any time of the day or night. She began regularly responding to people who were dealing with cravings and comforting parents devastated by their children’s addictions…. In March, Couch’s son almost overdosed. They live together in rural Kansas, where she doesn’t have access to much in-person support, which is part of what made Affected by Addiction attractive to begin with. In the wake of his near-overdose, she reached out to the group for comfort and encouragement while she panicked and figured out what to do. Shortly after that, a stranger named Garrett Hall sent Couch a Facebook message.”
EurekAlert: Facebook app offers opportunity to help unpaid Alzheimer’s caregivers via friendsourcing. “The app was developed as part of an investigation of a peer support group intervention in which emotional and informational issues that arose in the support group were pushed to the caregiver’s Facebook friends as questions. The Facebook friends then had the opportunity to enlist as a member of a support network by answering the support group questions. Researchers said that when those emotional and informational questions were answered, the caregivers experienced a feeling of increased support.”
Phys.org: The benefits of social media for young people in care . “Young people in care benefit from the psychological, emotional and social support gained via social media networks – according to new research from the University of East Anglia’s Centre for Research on the Child and Family (CRCF). Until now, the automatic assumption has been that platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp only pose a risk for this vulnerable group.” I believe in this case “in care” would be what the United States would refer to as “foster care” – at least one aspect of it. You can get more information here.