Adolescence can be a difficult time of life for both teenagers and their parents. This is the time when a young person is trying to establish his or her identity. Teens who are fortunate to have parents who make a positive contribution to identity and self-esteem will reap the benefits later in life. Many teens have the support of their families into their twenties and beyond, but teens in foster care hardly ever receive such support as they move into adulthood.
Due to the fact that they are adolescents, teenagers are difficult to place in foster care. Most foster families prefer to have young children in their homes. While young children really do need to have the protection and care of foster parents, teenagers have a desperate need for someone to commit to them too. After parental rights of their biological parents have been terminated, the younger children are often adopted by their foster families becoming part of a permanent family that will make a lifelong commitment to them. On the other hand teenagers who are unable to return home generally do not get adopted, leaving them alone, lonely and rejected and with all the accompanying damaging emotions.
Once a teen leaves foster care at age 18, there is a great risk for him or her to drop out of school, become pregnant, or jobless, or homeless or incarcerated. It is estimated that by age 24 over 50% are unemployed, more than 67% of the young women have children, almost 60% of the males have been convicted of a crime and 27% end up in jail. At some point after foster care, more than 25% of these unfortunate young adults become homeless.
While it can be challenging, parenting teenagers also has its rewards. A teenager can become a good friend if he or she feels respected, taking part in sports, games, mutual interests and conversations with the foster family. Less supervision is needed for adolescents than younger children and they can even help with the family’s tasks and responsibilities.
If you are looking for an area to help where there is a large gap in providing for a desperate need, then making provision for a neglected and/or abused teenage boy or girl needing someone to make a commitment lasting into adulthood, may be the rich and rewarding challenge you need. Contact Foster Texas today, and we can help you become a foster parent.