7 Simple Ideas to Help a Teen Aging Out of Foster Care

    Many people know that being in the foster care system can be hard. It’s not easy for teens stuck in the transition to adult life as they’re settling into new living situations, getting jobs, picking out a career path and some of them having to work multiple jobs to make ends meet. However, there are many ways that you can help support this process without necessarily opening your wallet.

    1.    Mentor

    It’s hard to imagine how much a mentor can change someone’s life, but it’s one of the most powerful things a person can do. At this moment, a mentor can really step up to the plate and help them succeed in life with just one simple idea: keeping in touch! Don’t be scared to get involved; you could save a life by opening your arms.

    2.    Offer a Job

    If you are in a position to hire, then, by all means, hire someone who is going through foster care. These teens often do not know where they want to be in the future, so allow them to start with your company. Not only will you be able to help someone who needs a job, but they will also feel like they belong somewhere.

    3.    Be Present, Be a Friend

    Many teens don’t have someone they can confide in. Many contribute to this problem by hanging around with the wrong crowd of friends who are headed down the wrong path. A foster teen whose life has been disrupted may be easily influenced by peer pressure and lacks a sense of belonging. When you befriend a foster teen, you can provide support and accountability.

    4.    Teach Financial Skills

    These teens are going to need help with money. They already have so much going on, but learning to budget and spend their money wisely will make all the difference. Teach them how to budget their money and stick to it; if they learn these skills now, they might not need your help later.

    5.    Resources

    Many young adults, who are moving on from the foster care system, have specific needs. They may need help finding and keeping a job or getting an apartment or vehicle. There are resources available for them to succeed and become self-sufficient adults. Services that can help include small grants for necessities like rent, utility bills or furniture.

    6.    Donations

    Support organizations trying to help provide services and funding to former foster teens. One must be to find a program and help connect them to it so they can get some of the things they might need. There’s nothing better than knowing that your donation will be used as it was meant to be used.

    7.    Career Talk

    A career talk is a good way to give a teenager aged out of foster care the tools they need to be successful and get a job. They can use the information to plan their future and figure out what they want to do. Talking with your teenager about their future and plans will help them make good decisions when they have trouble with friends, school, or work.

    You don’t need to be a foster parent to make a difference in the life of a foster teen. All you need is the desire to help and the willingness to offer guidance when it’s needed.