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Fostering teens – help them dream of a happier future

I began fostering for the Children’s Aid Society of London & Middlesex 10 years ago, and for the last eight years have been fostering as a single parent. Fostering children is my way of giving back to the community. It’s also my chance to provide children with a safe and nurturing environment when they need it most.

I initially began fostering young children, but soon realized the great need for family-based care for teenagers. There are often so few options for this age group and many end up in group homes. I’ve seen the impact that a positive, healthy and consistent home environment can have on the life of a teen. Although difficult at times, this responsibility has been tremendously rewarding. I enjoy being a positive mentor and role model in a young person’s life. It brings me so much joy to see my youth evolve and develop into good citizens of our community. Most of the adolescents who live with me become involved in volunteering and giving back in some way.

I’ve had the privilege of seeing youth graduate from school, find employment and “break the cycle.” These kids often just need someone to give them a chance and an opportunity to grow. I believe one reason families choose not to foster teenagers is because they fear the children have done something to “land them in foster care” but, like most kids in the system, teens are typically in foster care due to neglect or abuse in their homes. I’ve learned that no matter how young or old a child is, all they want is someone to love, care and believe in them.

Many teens in London and area are facing tomorrow knowing they are completely alone. With acceptance and understanding, you can help change a foster teen’s life by offering a loving, committed environment to live and grow – a home with patient people who care – and the freedom to dream of a happier future … as ALL kids deserve.

Yvonne is a foster parent for the Children’s Aid Society of London & Middlesex and birth mother of two children.


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