Did you know that this year, more than 20,000 young people will leave foster care without a family? Many of them will not have anyone they can call for help, for advice, or even for a ride when their car breaks down.
Did you know that all babies turn into teens? Teens can be helpful, a positive influence on your younger children, they can have conversations with adults, can tell you their needs, and in the process change your life forever. Teens are just like any of us, all they want is connection, relationships, safety, and stability.
Also, did you know that between the ages of 10 and 25, the brain undergoes changes that have important implications for behavior? The biggest changes in the folds of the brain during this time occur in the parts of the cortex that process cognitive and emotional information. You can shape and rewire young brains with your connection and relationship. READ THAT AGAIN! Teens aren’t hopeless. Teens aren’t a lost cause. Teens can learn, love, and be the person God meant them to be.
Studies show that teens are at increased risk for homelessness, young parenthood, low educational attainment, high unemployment rates, and other adverse adult outcomes.
BUT THERE’S GOOD NEWS! It only takes one person to improve these odds for a young person, that’s why we need you! Here is what Southern Christian Services’ LaRhonda Glass, who is currently a family specialist, says about fostering and adopting a teen:
“In my opinion, if I were to foster children again, I would only prefer to foster teenagers. I think people in general have a stereotype on teenagers due to social media and the negative things they have heard concerning teens. In my opinion, teens need you this year, more than ever.
As a former CPS front-line worker for 11 years, I mostly had teens on my caseload. I worked really well with them and was able to relate to them. I had a unique relationship with most of my teens and still try and keep up with them. Some of the teens call me just to talk and check in. I raised two teens as a single mother, mentored teen girls, and adopted a teen from Southern Christian Services. I have a great deal of experience when it comes to working with teens.
The need for foster homes for teens is great but the willingness for people to do it is a lack thereof. Foster parents seem to "fear" teens for the lack of knowledge and understanding. Foster parents seem to have a preconceived notion of teens because teens are known and identified as "troubled,” so they think teens will harm them or someone in their family. I think that foster parents feel it’s "too late" to teach and/or train teens. It’s not! It’s beneficial to foster teens because they have reached the age where they can think for themselves and they are able to express their concerns and opinions!”