Teenagers end up in foster care for a variety of reasons. Some are removed from unsafe homes, while others are orphaned and left without surviving family members. No matter why a child is in foster care, they need a good, loving family to care for them. Becoming a foster parent to a teenager is a wonderful thing to do. Here are four things you should know about being a foster parent for teenagers:

1. You can foster a teenager even if you already have children.  

Some people are interested in becoming foster parents but wonder if they're good candidates because they already have children. Fortunately, many blended families are very successful. While there may be an initial adjustment period, foster children and other kids already residing in your household can get along splendidly. A foster teenager can become a beloved sibling to your kids as they form relationships that can last for a lifetime.

2. You may be able to adopt your foster child. 

Some foster children only need temporary care while they're separated from their birth families. Other foster kids will require a lifelong home. Depending on your foster teen's situation, you may be able to adopt them. Adoption is a great way to expand your family. Adopting through the foster system can help you avoid the costs and long waits associated with other forms of adoption. Not to mention, you'll also be giving a child in need a good home.

3. Counselors can help teenagers and foster parents alike.

Fostering a teenager is worthwhile but not always easy. The adjustment can be difficult for teenagers and parents. It's not uncommon for foster teenagers to act out when placed in a new home. Typically, behavioral issues stem from past trauma and ongoing distrust for adults in their life. Luckily, counselors can help both kids and foster parents in this situation. Individual counseling sessions can help foster teens work through their issues at the same time that you are working through the emotional challenges of becoming a foster parent. Additionally, family sessions can help new families communicate and come together to be stronger than ever.

4. You can try out fostering temporarily. 

Finally, if you're interested in fostering but aren't sure if you're ready for the commitment, you can sign up as a respite foster parent. Respite foster parents provide short-term foster care for kids of all ages, including teenagers. By signing up as a respite foster parent, you can help other foster parents in need. You can also experience fostering firsthand, which can help you decide if it's right for you on a long-term basis.

Make sure to learn more about teen foster parenting opportunities to better prepare yourself.

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