Why You Should Help Teens in Foster Care
As kids in foster care grow older, it becomes harder for them to find permanent homes that will provide a loving, nurturing environment for them,
Parents tend to avoid fostering and adopting teens for multiple reasons. There is often a fear of trauma and the records of the teens within the system (these records are often long because they have been in the system for so long).
Children in the system are usually the ones people seek to adopt. They don’t have the same experience and records as the teens, and people are often scared of the possible baggage foster teens carry.
A Close Look at the Numbers
But they have trauma for a reason. Here are some statistics on the foster care system.
- Around “25% of former foster youth experience homelessness within 4 years of being emancipated from the foster care system.”
- “550,000 youth without parents/guardians and young adults up to age 24 experience a homelessness episode of longer than one week. More than half are under the age of 18.”
- “Just over half – 51 percent – of all foster youth graduate high school.”
- “50% of the homeless population spent time in foster care”
- “Foster youth are seven times more likely than non-foster youth to have Depression, and five times more likely to have Anxiety.”
Teens in Foster Care Need Our Help
But the overwhelming majority of people who have fostered or adopted from foster care would do it again in a heartbeat. These youth need help; they were dealt bad hands and are reaching out for help. And it is our job to help them.
Teens in the system who are at risk of aging out are under more pressure than usual. They are facing the uncertainty of their future. Where will they live? Will they find a job? Will they be able to attend trade school or college?
Many people do not have to ask these questions in their whole lives, yet the system puts young teens in the most stressful situation many of us could imagine. Will they be able to find a family before they age out of the system?
We will be telling you about two teens who are looking for a home.
Meet 15-Year-Old Jason
The first teen is Jason. He is a 15-year-old in Texas who has had major ups and downs within the system. Sadly, he has experienced abuse in multiple homes and is now just looking for a loving family to accept him for who he is.
He has a passion for video games, comics, and learning how to do his own makeup. Jason stated,
I’m a part of the LGBTQ community … I know that if I keep being myself and keep having a good outlook then I will make it.
Jason has been sleeping in the Child Protective Services (CPS) office because that is where he feels safe. He said that his CPS caseworker is his mother figure and that he feels safe with her and the office because he was practically raised by them since the young age of 10.
Jason needs someone to help him realize that he can make it. He needs a loving family that will accept him, love him, and care for him. He wants a forever family to call home, a family.
Meet 14-Year-Old Josiah
Josiah is a 14-year-old in Michigan who has been waiting to be adopted for the past two years.
His hobbies include hanging out with his friends, playing video games like Madden and 2K, listening to music, and sports: especially basketball, football, and soccer.
Josiah shared, “one wish for me is being in the NBA and playing for the Milwaukee Bucks” right beside Giannis Antetokounmpo. He knows that to be in the NBA, he will continue to work hard at school; his favorite subjects are Math and Art.
He would love a family with a brother, a family who will care for him, love him, and spend time with him. He also needs a family who will support his big goals and who will be there for him when he needs them.
Jason and Josiah are just two teens in the foster care system who are searching for forever homes. The reality is that there are thousands of teens in the same position as these two. They need support, unconditional love and support, just like every other child.
Give Teens in Foster Care a Chance
Even though fostering and adopting children and teens is difficult, it is simply giving teens a better chance at a bright, beautiful future. They deserve a chance to shine and our goal is to help them get there.
Finding forever families for teens is not always an easy feat, but with enough dedication and support, they will be able to find their loving forever families.
If you are interested in fostering or adopting teens in foster care, check out these resources. If you would like to donate, click here!
- Former Foster Youth Shares Her Experience as a Teen in Foster Care
- Foster Care Helps A Forever Love Find A Forever Family of 10
- Former Foster Youth Finds A Kidney Donor In New Mom
- What Happens When Kids in Foster Care Turn 18?
- Our Friends at Sticker Mule
- 7 Ways to Give Back to the Community
- Sweet Case 101
- Myths About Adoption & Foster Care
- How To Become a Foster Parent - The 5 Step Guide
- Disney Days at Walt Disney World Blog