WE DESPERATELY NEED FOSTER HOMES WITH FLEXIBLE SCHEDULES FOR KIDS AGES 10-18.

Parents - Level of Certification 2

Vera, Winnebago County

Every one of my kids has made me who I am today and for that I thank them!

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Teens in Wisconsin Foster Care

Wisconsin foster care is desperate for new homes wishing to help teens in foster care. Children who grow up in foster care often find themselves placed in multiple homes, bouncing from house to house. This lack of stability creates additional challenges for kids already struggling with trauma and/or mental illness. Teenagers in foster care are at greater risk of aging out of care with no family or dependable support system in place. CCR has an exceptional success rate helping teens in foster care heal from trauma. Because of the many critical in-home support services provided, our foster parents continue to successfully foster teenagers for years.

Teens in foster care deserve a trusting adult in their life.

There are hundreds of testimonials here at Community Care Resources of the positive impact one adult can have on a child. We have single foster parents, married couples, LGBT foster parents, parents in their 30's and others in their 70's. Retired military, teachers, first responders, pastors, and so many other professions and experience are a great match for teens in foster care. Foster parents caring for teens often care for up to 4 kids at a time. They operate their homes like a mini group home, with structure, supervision, and stability. 

Parenting one teen or several teens at a time means preparing a young adult for independence. It doesn't matter who you are, where you come from, or what you might feel your limitations are, you may have more to give a child in need than you know. You probably have an array of skills and life experiences worth sharing with a teen. The growth and healing that can happen before your eyes and the lasting impact you can have on the life of a child are like no other experience.

Mental health concerns are on the rise with teens in foster care.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide among kids ages 10-17 increased over 70% from 2006-2016. During these times of Covid19, teen suicide and mental health are rising even faster. The pressures felt by teens on social media, lack of in-person relationships and the absence of trustworthy adults combine to create toxic outcomes for teens. Mental health disorders of adolescents in foster care continue to rise at alarming rates. Foster parents can provide the essential positive environments these kids need and crave.  

Wisconsin foster agencies are desperate to find homes for teens.

There are nearly 8,000 kids in Wisconsin foster care and 30% of them are teens. Foster agencies like CCR struggle to place teens in homes with many eventually finding themselves in a group home or residential facility outside of their counties or even Wisconsin. If we can keep them connected to the community they know, that’s one less loss for them to endure.

Families must be committed, patient, and flexible with the ability to provide structure and boundaries. Foster parents who can take the time to understand their trauma, childhood history, and help discover what's driving their behaviors. With the help of a master's level, Clinical Case Manager, and licensed Therapist, foster parents are part of a treatment team. Most kids are receiving additional support services such as individual therapy, group therapy, and/or additional services in school.

CCR foster homes caring for teens choose to work with girls or boys. Homes may care for up to 4 teens at one time. Sounds scary to most but our foster parents could not do this difficult, rewarding work alone. We are proud to have an exceptionally experienced staff supporting them 24/7.

Qualifying to foster teenagers requires additional experience and/or education.

Although every foster family is different, the families best suited to fostering teenagers tend to be: 

  • Families with one parent at home
  • Adults with flexible but confident and effective decision making and follow-through skills
  • Capable of handling conflict and challenges in healthy ways
  • Willingness to provide opportunities for recreational and extra-curricular activities
  • Ability to dedicate time, utilize listening skills and provide care with patience
  • Have personal or professional experience with trauma
  • Willing to support biological family relationships when appropriate or required
  • Open to establishing life-long relationships in ways that support youth who age out of the system

Families who foster with Community Care Resources represent the diversity of the state and the diversity of the young people receiving care. There is a variety of race, gender, culture, sexual orientation, and financial status. Having a diverse pool of available foster families helps us match kids with the people who can best meet their specific needs. The placement process is a team effort led by our placement coordinator. The team works diligently to create placements that will be successful for both parents and children.

Unfortunately, we are unable to place the vast majority of teens referred to us each month due to the lack of available homes. It is a state-wide crisis that continues to increase, especially when placing teens.

"Fostering a teen is one of the BEST things I’ve ever done. It was not on my radar, I didn’t think I could “handle” a teen. I thank God every day for sending him to us and changing our minds!! I’ve said multiple times that’s he’s the easiest one to parent. I love being his Mom!" Amy from Calumet County, Wisconsin

Preparing a teen for independence involves mentoring and coaching

Unlike caring for younger children, fostering teenagers means preparing them for independence. Getting them ready and stabilized for the next phase in their life. In place of tying shoes, helping with bath and bedtime, and keeping little ones on task and organized, you can expect to teach an older child life skills. It involves structure and supervision. When fostering a teen the focus is on listening, patience, and consistency. Teaching older children to be independent and preparing them for life on their own can be enjoyable and bring numerous rewards and big successes. Helping and supporting any of the following should be expected.

  • Time management
  • Money Management
  • Grooming and Self-Care
  • Stress Management
  • Obtaining a Drivers License
  • Building Healthy Relationships
  • Household Cleaning and Laundry
  • Grocery Shopping
  • Job Searching
  • Apartment Finding

To consider fostering teens, you must be honest about your own relationship skills and willingness to be helpful. Building relationships with your foster teens will be critical to the success of a placement. We would love to speak with you about the details of fostering teen girls or boys. Please call or email us anytime, we look forward to helping you explore fostering and providing the answers to foster care questions you have.

 

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