Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Questions and Answers: Part 1

So, apparently my NaBloPoMo desperation was showing enough that I got some topics suggested and some questions that folks would like answers to on my last post! LOL! Thanks to those of you who've stepped up to help me out! Anyone who has a suggested topic or question feel free to keep them coming - November just started!!

Here's the first few questions:

1. If you could make a recommendation to all teenagers in foster care, what would it be?

Gosh... I am honestly not sure that I could give any great advice to teens in foster care. I haven't worked with a lot of teens, and they are not my specialty. But, from the few I have known, that have been successful I guess I would pass along some of the things they have told me.
In the case of kids like Zari - who was torn about choosing between a "room and board" type placement and a family that wanted her to be their daughter - I think I would tell all teenagers that they DESERVE a family who WANTS them. So, if they have a chance to be in a family - take it. But I realize that many teens won't get that chance...


I had a good friend in college who had literally grown up in foster care. He could probably have been the poster child for "teens in care" - male, african american, mulitple placements, time spent in a group home....

When I asked him how he made it out relatively unscathed, he said that he had a friend in the group home that he spent his last few years in care with and they were a source of support for each other. He also said he stopped looking for a family (which is very sad) and began "working the system" - but for the positive. He took them up on every service offered to him - transitional living, "life skills" programs, work programs, and eventually - paid college tutition.

And in his last couple years in care, because he stopped fighting, he became close to one of the volunteers at the group home. Even though he technically "aged out" of foster care - he considers this volunteer and her husband "his family". He made the system work for him, instead of working against it.

So, while I don't think that I have any good answers or advice... I think I would tell them that they are worthy of love, success, and not to give up until they get it. It sounds cliched - but I do want them to believe it.

Stay tuned... more Q&A to come...

3 comments:

  1. We have not fostered teenagers yet, but I have a special place in my heart for them. Someday, when the seven we have now are grown, I hope God enables me to give some of them the permanency they so deserve.

    Thank you for this post.

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  2. Your friend....my heart just breaks for him.

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