“I foster two teenage boys. One has really opened up and cooperates with the services that have been recommended to him. He is looking forward to beginning his senior year and very excited about his new job. He talks about finding scholarships and going to college. He is very determined to succeed. My other foster son is also a very nice young man who is trying to find his way. He is in the process of gaining employment; he wants to work two jobs! He plans to register for classes to earn his GED. He is very polite. Both young men get along with one another. We work together to make sure everyone reaches their goals. I keep a quote on the refrigerator for my boys to see often: “Take pride in how far you have come and have faith in how far you can go.” It’s been a pleasure to have both young men as my foster sons. I am so happy and proud of them.”
Victoria P, Henrico County Foster/Adoptive Parent
“I have always enjoyed working with teenagers because you can see their growth over a short period of time. I find it fascinating… when a teen in foster care normally comes into my home, he doesn’t want to be bothered and may seem very distant. Once I build a rapport, begin to build trust and set boundaries, I instantly see change in him. Myself, personally, I enjoy a challenge. I like working with a teen who has very little hope or doesn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. I feel I am well suited to foster teenagers because I am direct and straightforward. Teens I have fostered in the past have reached back out to me saying that is what they needed through that short period of their life.”
Matthew P., Henrico County Foster/Adoptive Parent
“’How do you become the person you want to be?’ My foster daughter posed the question to me as we drove home. I stuttered out some jumbled thoughts – it was several hours after my usual bedtime and I was having difficulty stringing my words together when she interrupted my ramble. “You are just so stable. You are a stable mom, wife, aunt, I feel like you are always stable,” she said. Wow, great: “stable.” I would have loved for her to say I was “wise,” “inspiring” or maybe that ever-coveted compliment, “The Fun Mom!” But stable – that’s never been something I’ve aspired to be; that is just something I am, always have been – ol’ reliable. Boring, yes, but I realized it was exactly what she needed. Stability was not something she was use to and the one thing she gravely needed that I had in abundance. Yes, I am there when I say I will be, I do what I say I am going to do and I respond in a predictable manner. Yes, I will continue to love you even when you struggle to be honest and I will still be here for you when you are in trouble. All this time I had worried that I might not have the skills, personality or rapport with teens to be a foster parent; what a blessing to have the one characteristic that this child so wisely sought.”
Mena L., Henrico County Foster/Adoptive Parent
“I have been a foster parent with Henrico County for over eight years. In March 2016, I adopted a teenager through the county. Over the years I have been very impressed with the level of support and professionalism of Henrico County Department of Social Services. I highly recommend them to those considering becoming a foster or adoptive parent.”
Jeff M., Henrico County Foster/Adoptive Parent
The Top 10 Reasons to Foster a Teen!
- Teens do not require a car seat!
- No diapers! No formula! No burp cloths!
- They sleep through the night and sometimes into the day.
- Teens can feed themselves; some may even want to learn how to cook.
- They are great teachers and learners.
- Teens can show you how to use your technology.
- They will keep you up on the latest trends and fashion.
- Teens can do their own laundry!
- They will move out sooner but can always come home.
- Who doesn’t need more family with whom to share moments and make memories