Even though you think you know about the impact of social networking, this event pushed my knowledge and thought processes into a different dimension

The session was very well received by both adopters and social workers

Very clear and well presented.

The internet and social networking are changing the landscape of searching, contact and reunion in adoption. More and more adopted young people are searching for and making contact with their birth relatives on Facebook - often in secret - without realising the complexity of what they are doing and where it could lead. Birth relatives, too, are tracing and approaching children. My research has shown that many social workers and adoptive families have found such situations difficult to manage. Adoption social workers need to find ways of helping those they work with to manage the new possibilities and new risks that come with the internet, and with social networking in particular. Many local authorities and adoption agencies are currently having to consider these issues.

I am the author of the first UK guides to explore these pressing questions and concerns. The books are Facing up to Facebook: A survival guide for adoptive families and Social networking and contact: How social workers can help adoptive families

I deliver half-day or full-day training workshops around the UK on social networking and adoption, at the request of local authority and voluntary adoption agencies, adoption consortia and other adoption organisations. I facilitate workshops with adopters and adoption social workers (both separately and together), adopted young people and foster carers. Many agencies and organisations including BAAF, Adoption UK and After Adoption have commissioned me to speak at conferences or deliver training on this vital issue.

Some tips for adoptive parents and foster carers

You can read my article for adoptive parents, written for a US website, here: http://expertbeacon.com/what-you-need-know-about-adoption-searches-and-social-networking/

Video Clips

I was asked to contribute to a CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) video which gives advice to foster carers about children and young people's use of the internet

I also feature in this CEOP video giving advice for adoptive parents who are concerned about their child’s use of social networking.