4 Ways Companies Can Help Teens Aging Out of Foster Care

Teens aging out of foster care often face low levels of social support, placement instability, and a lack of education. With these challenges come many consequences that can lead to making bad choices or obtaining risky behaviors. Here are four ways companies can help teens aging out of foster care.

1- Offer Internships or Jobs

This can help teens transition by giving them the skills they need. Some teens may have experienced long periods away from their home or school during placement, and thus this can lead to losing abilities they once had, and in some cases, they might be mentally frustrated. Offering a regular job or internship can break up a teen’s time in the foster care system and give them a purpose to get out of bed in the morning. Although every teen is different, having an internship or job can also help teens transition into more stable environments.

Internships and jobs not only offer a way for teens to transition into the outside world, but they give them a career identity. By having a job or internship, teens can create an identity for themselves and begin planning for the future.

2- Raise Money for Assistance Programs

The process can be difficult when a teen ages out of foster care. The fact that it is all new to them can lead to many different emotions: loneliness and sadness, being lost with no support system, and being overwhelmed by the big city or state they suddenly have to live in. These emotions can lead to unhealthy behaviors or addictions. Companies can raise funds for assistance programs that aid in their transition into everyday lives.

3- Create a Scholarship Program

Creating a scholarship program can help teens transition by allowing them to get an education. Some teens may have attended schools they were placed into, and all they had was a foster parent or caseworker, so this is not the case for all. Helping them get back on track will lead to good outcomes in their lives and more stable homes.

Companies or employees can create scholarship programs to give back to the community. It’s important to remember that more than 80 percent of kids aging out of foster care do not get a college degree.

4- Start a Mentorship Program

Teens need to have someone in their life that understands what it’s like to age out of care. Having a mentor can help teens learn how to do things such as asking for a job, starting their own business, or making plans for the future. Companies and their employees can create mentoring programs to make a difference.

Mentorship programs can help support teens who age out of care by assisting them to feel comfortable in their skin. It also helps them build a connection with someone with more life experience and can guide them through the process of beginning a career or life.

In conclusion, these four methods can help teens aging out of foster care, and we, as a community, make sure that their transition into the next chapter of their lives is just as smooth.