Breaking the Stigma Video Series
This 4-part video series was created to reduce the stigma surrounded by teens in foster care. We are very excited to share with the community the journey of several young people, with experience in foster care, who are focused on empowering and embracing positive change in the child welfare system. These videos were created in partnership with Bay Area Workforce Development Board, the Region 2 grantee for the Independent Living Program and Foundations Health & Wholeness, a statewide nonprofit treatment foster care agency.
Foster A Teen, Foster A Dream
Why focus on teens? We consistently see that teenagers are the sub group of foster children/youth who lack available foster homes who can serve their needs. Much of the time, teens are in foster care due to no fault of their own. They may have situations that came up that are beyond their control such as family homelessness, abuse and neglect, or having parents who are incarcerated. At times, some of their behaviors in the home have led them into foster care.
We were all teens once. Like us, teens in the foster care system are appreciative of the help they receive, the relationships they can build, and the trust that their foster parents give to them.
Once teens age out of the foster care system, and because of the healthy connections they have built with their foster families, we have seen them have a place to call home and return during birthdays, holiday events, and other special occasions throughout the year. When you foster a teen, you foster their dreams. With the support of the Foster Care by Foundations team and other community resources, you can make their dreams come true.
Some of the teens that come into foster care eventually will age out of the foster care system while living in their foster home. There are services in place that help prepare teens and foster families, alike, for the outcome. The State of Wisconsin has an independent living program that starts working with teens at 14.5 years old, and teaches them skills such as job readiness training, money management and budgeting, cooking and adult daily living skills. There are also resources available to help a teen enroll in college or tech school, find their first apartment, and teach them how to use the public transportation system. Grants and scholarships are also available to teens in foster care that help with secondary education. The Foundations Health & Wholeness team works closely with other organizations to ensure that our teens get the resources they need and are set up for success.
To learn about how you can foster a teen and foster a dream, please reach out to our Statewide Foster Care Recruiting Manager, Collin Drews, at [email protected] or 920-606-1205.