Case 2 : Sometimes it's better not to have a computer

The INCLUSO project introduced Internet and social software into the world of many children at Tonuso. Children, and their parents were instructed how to use the computer and social software and they were stimulated to work with it. Some of the families decided, after the introduction sessions, to buy a computer and Internet connection.

Some of the families connected to Tonuso come from very poor backgrounds; some have psychiatric problems. In one of these families, both parents have psychiatric problems. Initially, Tonuso planned to support this family to get a computer and Internet for the children but after long considerations, the Tonuso team concluded that, in this particular case, it might be better to advise not getting a computer into the home.

This family has little skills to offer the children a quality of live, opportunities for personal development, support at school etc. Given advice is seldom followed up. The parents have so much trouble of their own that little time is left for the children. It would be very difficult for the parents to give the children some guidance when going on-line. The Tonuso team would not be able to sufficiently support this family and the children.

Within the INCLUSO project, Tonuso organises introduction sessions on the use of computers and Internet for all the parents. It is of course not possible to exclude parents from taking part. Parents go home, get enthusiast and decide to buy a computer and Internet connection. In the case of this particular family, the Tonuso staff decided that it would be better not to encourage the family to go along with it because there was no possibility to support the children when going on-line.