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Friday, April 1, 2011

Teens in foster care.

Last night we went to an open forum about teens in foster care and the need for parents. I think one of my biggest pet peeves is labeling foster kids as "damaged, bad kids", "kids with issues", "trouble kids". I get very defensive when hearing things like this and visualize myself punch the person in the face a few times. Granted we are newbies when it comes to foster care, we have only been licensed for a year and have only had 5 kids placed in our home. But the kids we have gotten really are amazing kids, and they are survivors.

One of the questions asked was how long do bad behaviors last once they are placed with you. HELLO!!! they are teenagers. I was not in foster care, I have amazing parents. When I was a teenager my parents and I hated one another, yes they will agree, now that I am growed up I can't imagine my life without them. But I  well I was a peach (except not so much). I started drinking at 15, I started kissing and more with boys at 14, I was raped at 14 and then well lets just say I say myself as THAT being the only thing I was worth to men, I started smoking pot at 15 or 16, I would often sneak out of the house and be gone all night, or I would just leave  to go hang out with friends and not come home until wee hours of the morning, there were times that I would leave for at least a couple days, I did not speak nicely to my family and I was okay with dieing. Let me repeat, I was NOT in Foster Care and my parents are and were amazing people.

Just because you are or are not in foster care doesn't mean you should be put into a box. I don't like how labeled foster kids become. They are kids! They are humans! They need someone to give them a hand and a heart. To those that ask, "well what if I get a foster kid and they yell at me or don't listen to me, or they do drugs or run away or have sex?" and I say.. What if you have a kid and they yell at you or don't listen to you or they do drugs or run away or have sex?? Does that mean they don't deserve your love, loyalty and guidance?


Savannah said...

I think this is a great post. Teenagers are teenagers whether they are raised in a normal family or a foster care family. I don't know a single teenager who had simple, uncomplicated teenager years. And that's coming from someone who was a pretty calm teenager, but I was still a difficult teenager in my own way. I wish the world wouldn't be so scared and judgmental of what they don't know and won't take the time to understand.

Rachel Hamblin said...

I'm glad you can have a positive view on teenagers. A lot of people do not. I guess that must mean you like me. ;)
P.S. You're pretty awesome; in case you were wondering.

Kristin said...

Your sister is right, Heather. You are awesome. I know I could learn a lot from you.. if I would just listen. :)
I love you.