FREE LIMITED SMARTPHONES TO FOSTER CHILDREN

By Bob Katzen

The Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities Committee’s hearing included legislation that would give a smartphone, without Internet browsing capability, to every child over age six in the state’s foster care system. Each phone would be limited to four pre-programmed phone numbers, including 911 and the number of the foster child’s caseworker. The phone would include an application which allows the child to have a face-to-face video discussion with his or her caseworker.

Supporters say that the phones are intended to provide additional oversight and protection to foster children and is not a substitute for services and care currently rendered by the state.

Rep. David Biele (D-South Boston) who filed the bill at the request of a constituent, did not respond to repeated e-mails from Beacon Hill Roll Call to comment on the bill and to put us in touch with the sponsor.

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