Happy teens with Foster Parents

5 Reasons to Foster Teens

By: JBRI | Foster Care | February 1, 2023

Becoming a foster parent to a teenager may be challenging, and it can also be a very rewarding experience for foster parents and the teen. At JBRI Foster Care Services, we focus on supporting our foster parents with training and resources to help them successfully parent children of any age. “With more teens coming into foster care, for a variety of reasons, the need for foster parents willing to care for teens is also increasing,” said Ashley Jackson, program director. “We understand some folks may hesitate to take on the responsibilities of caring for an older child. In our experience, the benefits often outweigh the challenges, and we encourage our foster parents and prospective parents to consider welcoming a teen into their home.”

Why Be a Foster Parent for Teens

Here are five reasons to become a foster parent to teenagers. These reasons also show how foster parents can positively impact the lives of the teenagers in their care.
  1. Fostering a teenager can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Teenagers who have entered the foster care system may have experienced trauma or other forms of maltreatment, which can damage their self-esteem and sense of worth. As a foster parent, you can provide stability, support, and love to a teenager who may be lacking these things in their life. By helping a teenager to feel valued and cared for, you can make a positive difference in their life and experience a sense of personal fulfillment.
  2. Another benefit of being a foster parent to teenagers is the opportunity to help them develop important life skills. As teenagers begin to prepare for adulthood, they need guidance and support to develop important skills such as financial management, communication, and self-care. By working with a teenager in your care to develop these skills, you can help to prepare them for success in their future.
  3. Fostering a teenager can be a learning experience for both the foster parent and the teenager. As a foster parent, you might learn from the teenager in your care and gain new perspectives on the world. In turn, you can share your own knowledge and experiences to help the teenager grow and develop. This can create a wonderful relationship that can be rewarding for both parties.
  4. Fostering a teenager can provide them with a stronger sense of connection and family. Many teenagers in foster care have experienced a lack of stable and loving relationships in their life. By becoming a foster parent, you can give them a supportive and caring environment that can help a teenager to feel connected and valued. You can also work to build relationships with the teenager's biological family members, which can help to create a sense of continuity and connection for the teenager.
  5. Fostering a teenager can have a positive impact on your local community. By providing a safe and stable environment for a teenager in need, you are helping to prevent homelessness, drug addiction, and other negative outcomes that can result from a lack of support and care. You’re also helping to raise the next generation of adults who will contribute to society and make a positive difference in the world.

Being a Foster Parent is Rewarding

Parenting a child of any age comes with challenges and rewards. No age group is necessarily “easier” to parent. Becoming a foster parent to a teenager can be a very rewarding experience. By providing stability, support, and love to a teenager in need, you can help them develop important life skills, feel connected and valued, and make a positive difference in your community.

Learn more about foster parenting with JBRI Foster Care Services

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