Meeting the Needs of Foster Teens
What are teens looking for in their foster parents?
A lot of people who want to become a foster parent are usually looking for cute babies and little children. Most of the people are scared to take care of teens as a foster family because of the difficulties and hardships that may arise while helping the teens to adjust in the family. It is true that taking in teens in the family can be challenging but it does not in any way mean that no teens want to join foster homes or no foster parents are willing to provide care for teens. This informative article provides some good knowledge about what the teens are looking for in their foster parents.
Read the complete article to learn what do teens want from foster parents!
Someone who will make you a part of their family.
Teens don’t like to be singled out as “different.” This is especially true in the foster family, where fairness is key: if a foster youth is the same age as another child in your home, she wants to be treated as the other child would be treated. If rules are different for them, the reasons should be fair. Opportunities must exist for the foster youth to earn the same privileges as other youth.
Someone who shows they care about your feelings; someone who is nice, respectful, and loving.
Many teens in foster care come from backgrounds in which both positive and negative emotions were often expressed in extreme, inaccurate, or inappropriate ways. Youth need to know how to express emotions appropriately. They need to feel the joy of knowing that a respected adult cares about them and how they feel. Developmentally, teens are often on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Having someone who can model a caring, calm, and respectful response enhances teens’ positive development.
Someone who sets rules but isn’t obsessive about them.
Be fair about rules and guidelines. Make sure you understand why they exist and communicate those reasons clearly to teens. Developmentally, teens are trying to discern moral reasoning, so it is realistic to expect teens to ask “why?” Indeed, you should encourage them to do so. It is equally realistic to expect adults to respond appropriately, calmly, and with respect. Being overly dramatic about rules will only reinforce inappropriate ways of expression.
Someone who is a good listener.
Everyone likes to be heard. Yet teens are not known for being the “let’s sit and talk” population. In fact, they have a reputation for limiting their communication with adults.
The best way to get teens to talk to you is to involve them in something or, better yet, get involved in something they are doing. For instance, get them involved in helping with dinner. While you both have your hands busy, ask about their day. Mention a show you saw and why you think they may like it. Ask if there’s something they’ve heard about that you might find interesting.
The complete article can be found here: