In some cases, a child in need of a foster home might be very little—even a baby—but many in need of foster homes are tweens and teens. Often they have been mislabeled as “bad” but the reality is, they are just normal kids, like any other kid. They need love and the support of a trusted, solid relationship with family.
We asked our foster parents and foster teens for their top reasons why others should consider opening their hearts and homes to fostering teens. These are their answers.
1. We aren’t in diapers.
2. We sleep through the night.
3. Teens are easier to reason with. They are easier to have grown-up conversations with – ranging from some current event in the news to why a visit isn’t going to happen. Where you may need to dance around sensitive issues that a younger child may not be ready to digest, teens – for the most part – you’re able to just talk with them.
4. Teens get more involved in independent, outside-the-home activities – primarily extracurricular activities at school, and work. Yes, that can mean you’re doing more driving around, but it also means that you’re getting a couple hours of “break” here and there.
5. Teens can be helpful around the home. Mowing, vacuuming, cooking, even transporting or tutoring younger siblings.
6. You get to teach them the fun stuff that they will use the rest of their life, like driving, budgeting, cooking, and cleaning.
7. You don’t need to find a babysitter for us or send us to daycare.
8. You have the opportunity to form a lifelong friendship.
9. You have the ability to help a teen gain their independence and start their adult life on a positive note.
10. Each and every one of them has taught us something new about ourselves.
11. (Bonus!) All kids need superheroes…regardless of how old they are. It’s kind of cool to think that you might be part of the reason this kid goes to college or becomes someone great.