Foster Culture

October 16, 2007

An email I’m sending out to retrieve information on foster youth

I’m concerned about the number of youth that refuse to “work the programs” and are emancipated at 18 because of that. I see them as being emotionally immature because of traumas in their life, disabilities and normal teenage rebellion. Isn’t their some sort of studies that have been conducted on the psychology of foster youth that will keep judges for emancipating an unruly foster teen? If we just let them all remain in care until the age of 21 regardless of their behavior, my feeling is that they will begin the mature and take advantage of the resources available to them.

Can you direct me to studies or documents that investigates this specific issue?



  1. what about the natural children of foster parents. How safe are small children (0-7) with a foster child who has been sexually molested. I have observed that older foster kids can be very mean to little children and also jealous of them. My daughter has a foster child who is 17. She harasses my grandson until he gets frustrated causing him to call her names. I know he has to learn self control but he has emotional problems and it is hard for him sometimes. I personally think that there should not be older foster children in a home with small children who can’t defend themselves. My grandson dislikes the foster child very much. My daughter and I do not see eye to eye on this at all. She refuses to deal with the problem. It has caused a great rift between us. No one ever addresses this issue.

    Comment by Sherl Hargis — October 17, 2007 @ 9:21 pm | Reply

  2. I think that you have a good point. At one time, I was in the position of being the older jealous foster child at it was hard. There were feelings of jealousy and when/if the foster children are treated differently than the biological children it can effect the behavior of the teen. I’m no psychologist and only have experience of once being in foster care and now working with foster teens, I can only offer the perspective of the teen and I think you’re right, there is jealousy. One might ask how a teenager can be jealous of a child, but in truth if that teen did not get the nurturing he/she needed as a child then there is a craving for it now. You can almost equate the situation to the development of a 2 year old, having the need to feel dependent and loved, yet at the same time, wanting to be nurtured. Foster teens test the stability of their placements because of issues of abandonment, they can be vindictive and manipulative. Also, try to think of how it would be different if the teen was also the biological child, would there or could there still be a case of sibling rivalry such as what your daughters family is experiencing?

    I have talked to many foster parents that say that their parents used to take in foster children when they were young. They always describe it as being difficult, but overall an experience they treasure, which is why they followed suit and become foster parents themselves.

    Comment by fosterculture — October 17, 2007 @ 11:19 pm | Reply

  3. Thank you for your perspective.

    Comment by Sherl Hargis — October 25, 2007 @ 11:38 pm | Reply

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