For young people in care personal possessions provide vital links to identity and personal history. But papers, photos and mementos are often misplaced or dispersed as young people transition through care placements and are looked after by different people.
How can we design an online repository to keep important stuff safe through these transitions? Can we design to encourage collaboration between carers and the other people who have an interest in young people's well-being? How do we also ensure the privacy and protection of young people - and provide them with ownership?
My Masters research explored the proposal of a 'virtual locker' for young people in care, an initiative which evolved from the interdisciplinary Who Am I? project. I investigated the problems of looking after personal possessions in this context and considered how we can design for this. In the process, I identified several design approaches which could help social content systems respond better to shifts in personal relationships.