Taking picture of foster kids?
My classes to become a foster mom don't start till July. I am sure they will go over this with us. But, I am just curious. I was told by a friend who's mom fostered, that they were not allowed to take pictures of their foster children. This was years ago that she told me. We are in CA and would be fostering through the county. I am a photographer and I would love to take pictures of them as they grow. It is especially important for the babies to have pictures of themselves when they are older. I definitely wouldn't post their pictures on anything. Another thing, are you allowed to tell (not post pics) your FB friends that you have a foster child?
We most certainly take pictures and it was encouraged to get pics up of them as soon as possible. We did. There are individual and group pics of all five kids I've had so far up on the walls. And I have hundreds of pics on my phone of them and they regularly ask to look through them.

Some foster moms have blogs where they just mark out the faces of their foster children so that the activities are still shared as well as pics of their biological children. We try to do sets of pictures. I'll do pictures showing just the backsides of everyone (like on our way to the pool the first time, I walked behind so I could get a pic of the whole family but not faces). I'll do pics from different angles (our fishing pics are such that I could post them online). I'll do pics with various people in them, making sure to get only siblings in some so I can share with families. I also crop pics to work out the way I need.

For an example of how I've posted pics: [url=http://edufunmom.wordpress.com/2011/05/02/random-pics/]Random Pics Smile Mama'ing Again[/url]

Anyway, we take pics Smile

Also, I have gotten rid of FB since I started fostering (my friend says I'm "FB Bipolar"), but I would say that it depends on how you do FB. For example, when I'm texting a friend, I use the child's name. The friend already knows of the child. But when I'm writing in my blog or on here, I use the child's "blog name" (BB, LB, Princess, Sport, Munchkin). So for FB, I would do similarly. If I had a FB page that had the strictest settings and only people I knew directly and well, then I probably would use names. But most people have a lot more "friends" on FB than their primary circle of friends and family. They include people from high school, online games, family they see rarely, friends of friends they've gotten to know through FB, etc. In that case, I'd use their "blog names." Your close friends will know who is who. But I can't imagine there is anything wrong with a FB post that says, "Munchkin did the neatest thing today; he XYZ."

And of course, you'd want to not give away confidential information no matter what.

When in doubt, I'd hide more.

Also, ask in your class about the specific rules where you are.

Oh, one more thing. I was told to be careful getting the children's pics taken professionally. Those pics cannot be used by the photographer in advertisement, photos in their shop, or in any other way. So, of course, you also wouldn't want to use them in any of those sorts of ways.
That seems similar to PA rules. Family member fostered and on her family blog she just blurred out the faces of the FK's. In personal emails sent only to us or one or two people who had met the baby IRL, she would show the photos w/o blurred faces.
Now that baby was adopted by baby's aunt, she was able to "repost" all the pictures without blurs and "tagged" her aunt/momma on FB.
It really depends on where you live and their rules. They recently changed the rules here. We can post pics of our foster kids on social media sites as long as we don't identify them as a foster child.
In NY, pics can only be taken for home use, not public. Although some cw's enforce this more than others. When I had L, cw never said a word. He had school and sports pics taken. When I got J and B, their cw was a stickler about no pictures being taken.
Yes to the pictures. You cannot share them with the media and you may not put them on line.
I'm in CA too. I have my FB set to private, NO one can get on my FB. All they see is the very basic stuff, not even my friends list is listed.
I did mention we got our 3 little chickies (and probably JUST like that lol) Other than a comment here or there about sick kids (including my own kids) I leave them off my FB.
I see it like this, my very closest friends and my family know we have them, they know our daily stuff (sick, school, travel...what not) I dont need to share that with my great nephews wifes aunt. Smile
I have 2 confidants (sp) who I rely on for my sanity IRL and then I have our BB.
Wish you were in our county Smile we are the only foster family through county, the other few are through agencies and are for fost/adopt.
Good luck!

ETA: All 3 of my foster kids go to school, the 2 little ones for delays and the oldest for my sanity Smile All of them had school pics and it was made clear to all teachers and aids that their pics were not for sharing in any way other than school projects or things for home. We've had great luck and that is how we handled it for every time we've been licensed in other counties and state.
Picture taking is definitely OK in CA and was encouraged for us. Remember to keeps some copies of those pictures in your foster kids folders so they have some history and pictures of themselves as they grow.

As for facebook I know some parents that do and some that don't. I would suggest you don't. I talk about fostering on FB in generic terms, but I don't mention names or do pictures.
I don't email or share pictures online of the kids. On facebook I said "foster daughter" but now I just say "my four year old" or "my son". I did text a picture to my sister's phone of the kids. And the other day the kids were all on tv because we were filmed at a family fun night at the school. I did not know that they were being filmed and would bebe on tv so hopefully that doesn't get me in trouble.
We take about a disosable camera's worth of pictures every two weeks. I have three sets of prints made--one for us, one for the biomom, one for the biodad. I send the photos with the child on visits, each time we have them developed. I keep the ones for us in a special photo book dedicated to "the babies."

I have had pro portraits done for two of my kiddos; one for her 6-month "birthday" (of which I kept only one print, sent the rest of the portrait package to her biomom), and one for her 2nd birthday (kept a couple of prints--for us and some of our family members who are very involved with our foster kiddos--Grandma, Auntie). The biofamilies were nothing but appreciative of this.

I had not thought about the pros using the images. . .I know that at our portrait studio they automatically print extras and try to get you to buy them, and when we refuse, they shred them. I will ask next time about the digital images.

Now that our longest placement is getting ready to move on, I'm wishing I'd made 4 sets of prints--one for her book--because I'm having to do A LOT of scanning to put pictures in the book that will go with her. I suppose I could learn digital photography, but I think my brain is pretty much full by now. Wink
Here in MA they are very strict about NO FCs pics on FB or other social media sites. They are not to be online. Period. They are not to be in the newspaper or have their picture used for school promotion, etc (usually you have to fill out a form allowing that anyway and in the case of foster kids you have to check no). Other than that, we can and are encouraged to take pictures of our foster kids and include those pictures in life books, etc.
I'm in CA (Riverside county). In class we were told to take pictures and be sure to have their pics on the walls just like our Biological kids because they need to feel like part of the family. Where it gets "sticky" is sharing the pics outside your home. We were told that we absolutely could not post on FB (even if its private), could not mail pics of the kids or e-mail pics due to privacy issues.
We were told that it was alright to take pictures (Georgia) but we could not post them. We were also asked to send copies of the pictures on visits with the children. For seveal of our "long termers" we made photo scrap books that they were able to take home with them after RU.

Guess it depends on the rules in your county.
just wanted to add to my already too long post. If I had FB, I wouldn't put pics up. FB just isn't anonymous like my blog is. So I wouldn't even put up the pics I have on my blog (and THOSE pics are already pretty anonymous).
MomInCorazon reminds me that, no, of course we can't post their photos online. I have two photos of the back of Little Miss This on FB, but they literally could be any baby in the world, completely unidentifiable, so I feel OK about it. I always refer to our babies online as the names you see in my sig. . .some of my RL friends didn't know our foster babies' names until well after they'd been placed with us!

There was a little brouhaha in our area office about a holiday card one foster family sent out which included a family photo w/ the foster kiddos in it. That was a no-no, but I think given that the foster parents' hearts were in the right place (including the fosters as part of their family), they only got a gentle "don't do that again," reminder as a result.
Here the parents have to consent to allowing their children's pictures to be taken. I may get flamed for this, but whatever, I totally think that is wrong. I had one fs who was NOT allowed to have his picture taken. I took them. HE DESERVED HIS PICTURE TAKEN. His prior siblings all were TPR-ed. It is HIS right. I hear way too many stories of older foster kids with no baby pictures and that is a travesty. I didnt share the pics with anyone and told my caseworker we have them if ever he wants them when he is older. The mom later did allow pictures taken, when he was first put into care, his dad said no, but then mom resurfaced and she said yes. Its funny how one parent's yes trumps the no.

Our Biological dad signed consent to have pictures published. So I do post pics. He's friends with me on FB, ect and I tag the kids as him. He posts pics of them and tags them as me. Edited to add, our relationship with the Biological dad is totally not the norm for foster to adopt situations. He is our family now. He has the boys two sisters in his care and we are both committed to the siblings growing up as siblings.
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