Every year, around 23,000 teens in foster care are going to age out of the system. This population of young people has been abused, neglected, and abandoned by people they love. People often feel a great desire to foster the younger children in care, but the reality is that every kid that is in foster care is in great need of positive adult influence in their life, no matter how old they are.
Kids in foster care above the age of 12 often have a difficult time finding the positive adult influence they need. People see their history and give up hope that anyone could make a difference in their lives.
Teens in foster care are far less likely to be adopted into a loving home than younger kids.
Many teens in foster care today will age out of the system with no place to call home. Of the kids that age out of foster care, 20% will become instantly homeless the day they must leave government care. 1 out of 4 kids who age out of the foster care system will not graduate high school. 50% of kids who age out will become dependent on some type of drug or alcoholic substance. 40% of kids in foster care that reach the age of 18 have been in the foster care system for at least 3 years, if not more. Teens in care often have no hope of reuniting with their biological families, and no real concept of what a family is outside of the abuse or neglect they have come to know. The odds are against teens in foster care. Once they age out of care, these teens are more likely to become homeless, incarcerated, or a victim of human trafficking than any other teen not in foster care. This population of young people is in desperate need of adults to open their homes and provide a loving environment for kids who have no home.
At TBHC we have been blessed with some amazing families that have taken older kids into their homes in recent years. People often hear stories of how difficult it is to foster older kids. While fostering older kids may be a challenge, our foster parents prove that it is not an impossible task.
Our foster parents have been doing a fantastic job with the teens in their care. We are so grateful for them and the eternal impact that they are making in these kids’ lives. But they cannot take every teen in Texas into their home. We are in need of more people who would be willing to step up and foster local teens that are in need.
Would you be willing to consider taking teens that are in need of a loving environment into your home?
A few myths about fostering teens debunked:
Myth #1: All teens in foster care have severe behavioral issues.
Reality: Some teens may not have experienced stable home environments and have had a few foster care placements already. As a result, they are trying to figure out where they belong and who they are. Just like other teenagers, what they need is guidance, structure, and love.
Myth #2: Teenagers in foster care are too old to positively influence.
Reality: Think back to when you were a teenager, you can probably name a parent, teacher, or coach that you had a special bond with. Teens in foster care often may not have someone like this to look up to, but you could become that person they can count on.