Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Becoming a little more anonymous

After Pumpkin closed down her blog (I will assume that she is keeping her reasons confidential, but I have suspected since it happened that someone decided she was breaching confidentiality), I have been thinking about what I perhaps should do to protect myself and my blog.

I am in the process of purging the name of the agency for which I work from the blog. Though I love them, if anyone there decided to do a search for blogs mentioning them, they would find mine and it would take no time at all to figure out who I was.

Right now I think I am on safe ethical grounds with respect to all the boys, as they are either legally my own or are 18 and have given me permission to write. I don't know that social workers would necessarily agree, but I feel fine about what I have written.

I think I am okay with the respite girls because I have not said very much about them. I think that my writing has focused on my own experiences and not on revealing anything particularly confidential about them. Certainly if someone who knew them read the blog they would not learn anything they did not already know.

I may be on thin ice with respect to Ann though. I am planning on going back through my posts about her and delete anything that can't be defended as a discussion of my own experience and/or reveals something that is confidential about Ann. I hope it does not gut the story too much. I think it is good for there to be a complete story about trying to parent a kid with attachment disorder. I think that it is good that there is a story from someone who tried to do it and discovered she could not. I think that we foster parents need that. I need it. I know that the stories of success and happy endings are good for me to read, but so are the sad stories. It is good to remember that we are only human and that we cannot parent every child.

I am also thinking more about what I will do when the next kid comes along. He or she will almost certainly be under 18, and therefore not able to give me permission to say whatever I feel like saying, and writing this blog has become part of my support system that I do not want to give up. I don't know that I could write it in a way that will satisfy my self-imposed standards.

The best solution I can come up with so far is to have a second blog with privacy protection. I know I can password protect a blog. Baggage did that for a while. If I did that I would not give up this one, I would just put some things in the other blog.

Fortunately I do not have to decide that for a while. I did however want to mention that the name of the agency has already disappeared from about 25 posts. Blogger tells me I have another 70 to go...


  1. I think you're on pretty solid ground too but it's always better to be safe when dealing with the privacy of others.

  2. That's one of the hard things about blogging. Sure we give our kids nicknames and so forth, but if someone really wanted to they could figure out a lot about us.

    I think censoring yourself a bit is smart. But if you go password-protected, please, please keep me in the loop. Your experience and knowledge is valuable for me. I've already learned a lot from you. I've been able to "forgive" myself for saying no to Boy Wonder largely because of your blog.

  3. When I was in the fostering business confidentiality was a big issue. One of my girls had parents who were not to be told where where she was living at at the time and the school did not call me considering this and published her pic on the front page along with her name. The agency was not happy. Nothing happened because of it but it could have. Even now I do not use my kids real names on line and I do not tell anyone where I actually live. I think confidentiality is a good idea cause there are good reasons for it.


Comments will be open for a little while, then I will be shutting them off. The blog will stay, but I do not want either to moderate comments or leave the blog available to spammers.