Teens Needing Foster Homes in BC

Adolescence can be a difficult time and fostering teens presents its own unique challenges.

There are different reasons why teens come into care – for example:

  • Their parents are unable to provide care
  • The teen is resisting parental authority
  • The teen is dealing with developmental delays, drug or alcohol use, or legal troubles

With the help of foster caregivers, teens are given options for a permanent living situation like returning to their family, getting adopted or going on to live independently. Even after the teen turns 19, they will continue to need someone to go to for advice, support and encouragement.

Foster families receive ongoing support from their resource worker and the teen’s worker – including referrals to local parent support services or workshops hosted by foster parent organizations. Some communities may also provide these kinds of services:

  • Peer, alcohol and drug counselling
  • Psychological and mental health services
  • Family mediation services
  • School district special services such as counselling, psychiatric testing and tutoring
  • Employment training

If you're thinking of fostering a teen, take time to consider these points:

  • Foster caregivers must be secure in knowing themselves, but flexible and patient in explaining other values and views of the world
  • Teens need an ‘anchor’ while they are developing their own unique identities
  • Teens require a different style of parenting than younger children – they may be withdrawn or ‘act out’ because of anger from previous experiences
  • Teens have had time to establish their own way of doing things – foster caregivers need to recognize this and be willing to have a give­-and­-take relationship
  • Teens may not be looking for the traditional parent/child relationship – they likely will want adult support and guidance in making decisions, learning to trust, and building self-confidence or positive relationships
  • You and your foster teen will need to discuss the house rules for smoking, drinking, dating, curfews, and household chores – explain the reasons for the rules so they understand what is expected
  • Teens may feel insecure, alienated or lonely – they may also be argumentative or moody
  • In some cases, the teen's relationship with their family improves after they've been separated – others are upset by the separation and may need help in communicating or getting along with their parents and siblings

Feel free to discuss your situation and commitment with someone who knows how the foster system works: