Teens Aren’t That Scary

By Rachel Mar

Being a young foster parent comes with its challenges.  One of those challenges has been the fear of fostering teenagers. 

I’m not going to say it is a walk in the park, because oftentimes, it’s not.  Teenagers coming into the foster care system can have a much larger exposure to trauma.  They are smart.  They are aware of everything that is going on and everything that has happened to them.  Many have become accustomed to taking care of themselves and most likely their younger siblings as well.  They unfairly had to take on the parenting role even though they have never been taught to be a parent themselves.

I will say that fostering teenagers has been one of my favorite things.  They are remarkable young adults.  Helping to support and encourage them to reach their full potential is one of the most rewarding gifts.  Watching them grow and become young adults who improve on their schoolwork, personal lives, who set goals, and cook dinner on their own is so fun to watch.

We have seen a 16-year-old boy who was failing classes turn around and ace his final exam in summer school.  We have witnessed kids overcome their depression and find their joy again.  We have seen teenagers reunify with their families and still reach out to their foster family just to check in and update them on all the great things they are doing.  We have seen teenagers who become inspired to work with other kids who were in their same situation to help them get back on their feet.

Fostering a teen is one of the biggest impacts you could ever have on making a difference in the world.  They are tomorrow’s leaders in training today.  There would be a missing piece in my life without the teens that have come through our home.  They may be back with their first families now but seeing pictures of our memories throughout our home is something I look forward to seeing every morning.

If you have a heart for teens and helping raise our next generation, there is an incredible need for people like you.  If you are already a foster parent, CASA, mentor, or adoptive parent, thank you.  If you are not and you would like to, call 530-846-4955, and one of our recruitment specialists would love to help you start the journey of a lifetime.