Three Truths About Fostering Teens

In Connecticut, there are hundreds of youth in need of loving foster homes, and most are 13 or older.  These youth come to foster care for a variety of reasons. Many have been in several foster care situations or come from unstable home environments or may have experienced interrupted care during their lives. All teens need love and consistent support, but these youth especially, can uniquely benefit from the value of a loving foster or adoptive home.

Click here to learn more about Wheeler Foster Care programs.

There is a common misconception among prospective foster parents and families that it’s too late to make a difference in the life of a teen. “He [or she] is too old to accept my guidance.” “A teen would need so much work.” “I can make more progress with an infant or young child.”

But the truth is, by fostering a teen, you can make a significant difference that will last for the rest of their lives. It may take some reframing on your part by considering these truths.

All teens are trying to figure out their place in the world. Youth without the stability of a permanent family, especially, need consistent adults in their lives to provide structure, guidance, safety, and love. This kind of consistency will help a teen learn to trust, for the first time, or again, and to establish foundational building blocks for the rest of their lives.

Teens need connection on the path to adulthood.  By fostering a teenager, you are connecting them to a family, where you can provide a sense of stability, lasting bonds, and guidance with important life tasks such as enrolling in higher education, finding stable housing, securing employment, and establishing healthy relationships. The work you do as a foster parent today will help a teen emerge as a more confident adult tomorrow.

Teens without families are vulnerable. Studies show teens in foster care, or who need foster care, as well as those who have aged out of the system, are at increased risk for homelessness, young parenthood, low educational attainment, high unemployment rates, human trafficking, and other adverse adult outcomes. You can help protect teens by providing them with a safe, caring environment, as well as tools to make good decisions about their futures and people with whom they interact.

If you are thinking about becoming a foster parent, consider the most urgent area of need: providing a loving home for a teenager. To learn more about becoming a foster parent with Wheeler, please call us at 860.793.7277 or write to us at or click here.

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