May 18 – James and Sharon – Oakland County
Teaching teens by example
James and Sharon have served in the role of parents who foster minors of all ages. They recognize that all children and youth have the same feelings – yet, how those feelings are expressed varies on age, experiences, and development. Sharon and James are realistic about being foster parents for teens and embrace the differences that exist between being a foster parent for younger children versus young adults. For the most part, James and Sharon identify that the primary difference lies in the normal challenges of adolescent development, not in the young person’s foster care status.
James and Sharon make it priority to treat children, as well as everyone involved with each individualized permanency plan with respect and compassion. They’ve provided biological parents with transportation and other forms of concrete support. They have collaborated with other foster parents to ensure siblings who were unable to reside together, maintained consistent contact before and after reunification. They give compliments, words of praise, and encouragement to the children and youth in their home, as well as families of origin and social workers.
All youth need to feel the joy of knowing that a safe adult cares about them and how they feel. Developmentally, teens are often on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Having James and Sharon model caring, calm, and respectful responses to challenging experiences only enhances teens’ positive development. It is this developmental path that will lead the youth to becoming the amazing people they are meant to be!