Recruitment Campaign for
Foster Parents for Teens
DCFS Recruitment Campaign
for Foster Parents for Teens
There are over 1000 Louisiana teens in foster care on any given day. These youth account for 1 in 4 of the total population of children in Louisiana foster care. Only 4% of the state’s current foster families provide homes specifically for teens. When there aren’t enough families available for teens, it means teens must leave their schools, friends, activities and communities. Each time a teen changes schools, they lose 4-6 months of their education, increasing the risk of not graduating or dropping out. This leads to under or unemployment and homelessness as adults.
The Department of Children and Family Services is working diligently to change those outcomes. With guidance from Dr. Denise Goodman, national child welfare expert and consultant with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, DCFS has implemented recruitment strategies throughout the state to develop foster homes for teens. This work includes a statewide media campaign and recruitment materials to share the message of the need of foster homes for teens; developing and hosting regional orientation meetings specifically for families interested in providing homes for teens; developing and providing specialized training for foster caregivers providing homes for teens; developing community supports for foster caregivers of teens; working with community partners to raise awareness of the need of foster homes for teens through social media, local media outlets and displaying recruitment materials
Research has consistently shown that young people who transition from foster care without caring connections and support experience very poor outcomes at a much higher rate than their peers in the general population. According to Casey Family Programs:
- More than 1 in 5 will become homeless after age 18.
- Only 58 percent will graduate high school by age 19 (compared to 87 percent of all 19-year-olds).
- 71 percent of young women are pregnant by 21, facing higher rates of unemployment, criminal conviction, public assistance and involvement in the child welfare system.
- At the age of 24, only half are employed.
- Fewer than 3 percent will earn a college degree by age 25 (compared to 28 percent of all 25-year-olds).
- 1 in 4 will be involved in the justice system within two years of leaving the foster care system.
- Everyone, even teens, need to feel special, wanted and needed. You never outgrow needing a family! A permanent stable and supportive home increases a teen’s hope for their future and builds their self- esteem and confidence.
A strong family provides stability, consistency and support as teens grow and develop.
You can build a strong and positive relationship as teens are able to express their thoughts and feelings.
We have amazing teens that need a strong, encouraging family to help them reach their fullest potential.
DCFS provides reimbursement towards the costs of the teen’s clothing, food and a medical card to cover the costs of doctors, prescriptions and therapy.
Each teen has a team of professionals including a foster care worker, Youth Specialist and others to help the teen and caregiver.
Foster caregivers have a Home Development Specialist that provides caregivers with ongoing guidance and support.
DCFS provides ongoing training to equip foster caregivers to meet this needs of youth in their care.
Louisiana Fosters connects foster caregivers to resources and supports in their communities.