About Fostering Teens

This comes up frequently in adoptee discussion groups. The concern is the many older children in foster care who would benefit from the stability of being in one single home/family for the duration of their childhood – where the possibility of being returned to their original parents may never exist, for whatever reason that is the case.

That’s a whole different ballgame than adopting healthy infants or toddlers.

Nobody is stealing teens from their families. They’re just harder to place and most child welfare agencies would rather not have to bother doing the work, quite frankly. Teens who’ve been in the system since their younger years are even harder to place because of the continual trauma that being in the system has done/continues to do to them. The best (and possibly only) thing a Foster Parent can do for a teen Foster Youth is give them a safe, supportive place to land until they can be reunited with their parents or other biological family members; or if that isn’t possible, at least support them through to maturity and beyond the Foster Care Emancipation process.

In 2016, over 400,000 children were in Foster Care in these United States.

The Safe Families Act has been implemented in several American states.

There are three pillars of the Safe Families Act, all with the intention of returning children to their parents as soon as possible.

[1] Hosting – parents choose to allow certain approved families to care for their child until the parents are able to again.

[2] Befriending – providing a supportive environment for the parents of children in care. Support meant to return the ability of parents to adequately provide for their children.

[3] Resources/Physical Needs – rehabilitation services, job assistance and counseling. Food and childcare help. Community organizations willing to step in.

Especially because of the Opioid Crisis, the Foster Care System is overwhelmed.

It is heartening to know that there are so many people looking for better ways to ensure the well-being of our nation’s children.