No one ever outgrows the need for family. Whether we’re children, teenagers or adults, families provide a sense of belonging and help us reach our potential.
One group of our neighbors in particular is in need of loving families: teenagers who are in foster care due to being victims of child abuse, neglect or other family challenges. Of the more than 9,500 children currently in Kentucky foster care, over 2,300 of them entered at the age of 12 or above and thousands more became teens while in care. By opening your heart and home to one of these teens, you can provide a young person with stability, positive connections and guidance before they enter adulthood. Becoming a foster parent also fills your life with adventure, joy and meaning.
Nationally, teens make up the majority of youth in foster care. These young adults also are significantly less likely to be able to attend higher education and are at risk of having fewer overall life skills than their peers without the support of a loving family.
Becoming a foster parent is the very best way you can help Kentucky teens in need. Here are 3 reasons you should consider fostering a teen.
1. It Will Create Meaningful Memories
Not having a stable, loving home can lead to the development of physical and mental health challenges. Through simply engaging with a teen in need, like making dinner with them or providing help with homework, you will make a significant difference in their life that will have immediate and long-term benefits. Also, by being there when they experience milestones like graduating high school or getting a driver’s license, you will help them know they are valued and create life-long positive memories.
2. You Get to Teach Some Amazing Things
Fostering a teen provides countless opportunities to teach essential skills. You get to show them how to build strong, important relationships and help them find a passion that will allow them to be excited for the future instead of fearing it.
3. You Will Gain a Relationship That Will Last a Lifetime
The relationships we have with others are one of the most important things – if not the most important – in life. Providing care and support to a teen for a few months or longer will be something they will never forget. Even after they leave your home, you will get to be there with them for major life events, like getting married or starting a family. You will have gained a relationship that lasts a lifetime, and that’s a good thing for both of you.
Have you considered changing the life of a teen by becoming a foster parent? It provides a teen who has experienced abuse or neglect with a safe, loving environment and is guaranteed to enrich your life in incredibly positive ways. As we often say: Is it easy? Nope. Is it worth it? Absolutely.