I Am Unable to Adopt or Foster, Now What?


#Fact: The more birthdays a child celebrates in the foster care system, the less likely they are of being adopted. Older children need families too.


Foster care statistics according to the AFCARS Report for FY2011 (July 2012):

  • 400,540 in foster care on 9/30/11
  • 252,320 entered foster care during FY2011
  • 104,236 children and youth waiting to be adopted
  • 31,101 seventeen year olds in foster care
  • 29,264 sixteen year olds in foster care
  • 24,220 fifteen year olds in foster care


Raising awareness about the need to help teenagers in foster care ‘secure’ a forever family through adoption or to help them develop a support system of caring adults who will assist them after their foster care services end is essential to improving their quality of life.


I’m unable to adopt or become a parent what else can I do?


So glad you asked that question.  There are so many ways to get involved to support teenagers and young adults in foster care.


Ongoing Support:

  • Mentor
  • Tutor
  • Coach (sports)
  • Teach (arts, technology)
  • Provide transportation to appointments
  • Chaperone excursions



  • Gift cards
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Professional attire
  • Books
  • School supplies
  • Tickets to fun activities
  • Luggage
  • Purses
  • Backpacks


Training on Independent Living Skills:

  • Budgeting
  • Nutrition
  • Interview Preparation
  • Health
  • Goal Setting
  • Communication Skills


Real World Experience (Provide):

  • Employment
  • A day of job shadowing
  • An internship
  • An apprenticeship
  • An informational interview
  • A volunteer/service opportunity



We would love to hear your ideas and suggestions.




Nicki Sanders, MSW, Chief Visionary Officer

The Teen Toolbox provides youth portfolio development and civic engagement and academic empowerment strategies to help teens set goals for life after high school and create a road map to reach those goals through its PACKAGED FOR SUCCESS™ Programs.

Comments 1

  • Great information. I didn’t realize the various ways one could help foster children. I just figured some of these services are provided by the agency. Even if that is the case, they require volunteer support as well.

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