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Teens in Wisconsin Foster Care Feeling Unwanted

Jake is one of hundreds of teen boys in Wisconsin Foster Care. He is ready for discharge from a group home and is anxious to live with a foster family in Northwest Wisconsin. Jake has been through a lot in his 15 years. Despite what might be expected, he does not use past trauma as an excuse for behavioral issues. Jake requires a structured setting with adult supervision, consistent expectations, and reasonable rewards and consequences. A home with an at-home or work-from-home parent would best meet his higher needs.

Teens in Wisconsin foster care often need additional supervision.

Many kids in foster care require additional supervision and structure. Finding a flexible foster home for a teen like Jake is difficult. After-school supervision and numerous appointments can be a challenge for working foster parents. In addition, limited internet access and phone privileges must be in place and monitored. Regularly scheduled therapy appointments occur twice weekly for Jake. Therapy appointments for youth can rarely be scheduled in the evening. Individual and family therapy will reinforce his progress in the group home and assist him in reentering a family home.

Back view portrait of a boy watching tv at home

Wisconsin teens often feel unwanted and out of place.

There is a strong need for Jake to receive nurturance and support to feel wanted. Coming from an abusive family, he has experienced significant trauma for a young boy. He has witnessed drug use and domestic violence and has been sexually and physically abused. He is said to have felt lost in the chaos of living at home, and the two foster homes he was placed in prior to the group home were not successful.

He would love to connect with a friendly couple that won't give up. He says people don't give him a chance and judge him quickly because he can get mad at things. Jake states living in a group home has taught him many things, but he also admits he has a way to go with his anger and bad decisions. He wants to learn more skills to be independent and care for himself when he gets out of foster care.

Jake has been diagnosed with the following:

  • ODD – opposition defiance disorder
  • Depression

Additionally, Jake will require the following:

  • Medication monitoring with a psychiatrist
  • Jake should not be unsupervised around children under age 14 or those considered vulnerable
  • Involvement in healthy community activities to promote healthy social relationships
  • Jake is not able to share a bedroom
  • Strive toward high school graduation
  • Participation in family therapy with his biological family to help manage anger and frustration in appropriate ways
  • Continued assistance to learn independent living skills

Foster kids often visit with biological family

During visits with his family, Jake is easily annoyed and verbally aggressive. When his mom or older brother intervenes, he can become physically aggressive. Family therapy seems to be helping Jake with his anger and aggression toward family members. His parents struggle with mental health and drug use. Jake reports his family home was chaotic and overwhelming. Thus, he would like a foster home that is laid back yet has some structure. Above all, he hopes to have foster parents that are calm and don't yell too much. He feels that nobody listens to him or cares what he thinks.

It should be noted he can become irritated when he feels unheard. For the most part, Jake is not aggressive outside of his home environment and does well in one-on-one settings. Given the pattern of aggression within his family, it would be best if he were not placed in a foster home with younger children. There have been two previous unsuccessful placements before the group home.

boy with dog at home backyard

Teens in foster care want a chance to succeed.

Jake can be polite, helpful, and considerate of others. He does not mind helping with household chores and is eager to learn new things. He recognizes anger management is a struggle for him at times and is open to trying new methods to control his anger. He enjoys family pets and states his new foster parents can count on him to be kind to their animals. He doesn't want a new family to believe everything they have heard about him. He wants to be given a chance to prove he is changing.

With structure, patience, and a calm home environment, Jake has enormous potential to heal from his trauma. He is currently receiving mental health services and will need the support of his foster parents to stay on a path of growth and healing. Unfortunately, CCR did not have a foster home in the right location to accommodate Jake. Keeping up with family therapy meant Jake needed to stay close to his family.

Foster families are needed in Wisconsin counties across the state.

No matter what county you live in, we need you to consider fostering older kids. It remains the greatest need in Wisconsin foster care. Please get in touch with us to explore how to become a foster parent.

* To protect the identity of all children, real names are never used in any CCR blogs or social media posts.


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