Foster Care: Every Teen Deserves Family

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Foster Care: Every Teen Deserves Family

Declan felt that no one believed in him.

That’s what he told the CEDARS team when he came into their care. He was leaving a situation of instability and neglect. Though he was a sophomore in high school, he was behind his peers. Instability at home preoccupied his mind, which left him unable to concentrate in class. He felt judged and looked down upon.

Who would believe in his potential?

For a teenager in the foster care system, Declan was experiencing a very understandable fear.

For many potential foster parents, the picture has been painted for them that they will be opening up their homes to babies and young children. In some cases, this is true, but the reality is there are many teenagers in need of the safety, stability and family relationships that a foster family can provide. CEDARS foster care works with all ages of children and youth in crisis.

“Foster care is the situation that these kids are in, but it doesn’t need to define who they are,” says Adrianne Poppe, CEDARS foster care recruiter. “They have been dealt a hard hand, but that shouldn’t define who they are. They have the same excitement, hope and pride that other children have. They really just want someone who’s going to open their home to them, take time to sit down with them, get to know a little bit about them and just be their support and give them love.”

Every day, CEDARS foster care team is working to ensure that over 200 foster children and youth flourish in out-of-home care. Because foster parents are an integral part of the CEDARS professional team, they have access to support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, monthly support groups and quarterly gatherings for foster families, as well as regularly scheduled training opportunities.

Acknowledging Declan’s fears, and understanding how difficult such a transition can be, the CEDARS team thoughtfully placed him into Jim and Rhea’s loving foster home. By layering in mental health support for Declan and support for Jim and Rhea, all involved were confident that this was a good fit.

Jim and Rhea enjoyed having a teenager in the home. Declan could drive himself to and from school, and at the dinner table the three of them could discuss the news and difficult subjects with relative ease. Their patience and love allowed Declan to open up in the home.

Declan confided in CEDARS staff recently how much confidence he has because Jim and Rhea believe in him.

It is important to know that there is no typical CEDARS foster family. Our foster families include parents with children at home, single adults, couples hoping to adopt and empty nesters. To help, all you need is a stable home, an open heart, and a willingness to reach out to a child in need. CEDARS is committed to providing foster children and foster families the best experience possible, and thoroughly enjoy walking alongside families as they uncover the rich rewards of seeing a foster son or daughter begin to relax and grow in their home.

Foster parents play a special role in the life of a child. If you have ever considered fostering and would like more information, please contact Adrianne Poppe at (402) 890-1410 or apoppe@cedars-kids.org.


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