The youth-written stories in Represent give inspiration and information to teens in foster care while offering staff insight into those teens’ struggles.

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Teacher Lesson Return to "5 Things Foster Parents Should Do"
5 Things Foster Parents Should Do
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Solve the Problem With a Policy

Read the Story: 10 minutes
As a group, read aloud “5 Things Foster Parents Should Do,” by Sedrick Sanchez (p. 16), taking turns. Let teens pass if they don’t want to read.

Discussion: 20 minutes
Ask the group if any of Sedrick’s tales of foster care and tips for foster parents resonate with them. They will probably start telling stories of bad treatment in care. At that point, start writing on the board or easel paper, identifying specific problems, like “Foster parent didn’t explain the house rules clearly,” or, “Caseworker didn’t tell me I was supposed to be getting an allowance.”

Allow teens time to vent and share their negative experiences. But then turn the conversation to brainstorming some solutions. What kinds of policies for foster parents, agencies, or caseworkers could have addressed these problems? Write down the ideas they come up with.

At the end of the session, ask for a volunteer to type up the notes, or do it yourself, then copy them. Share the suggestions with your own foster care agency, if you work for one. Pass them out to teens and encourage them to share with their caseworkers, law guardians, or other adults in the system. If you meet regularly, ask teens to share whatever responses they receive.

Share these resources with teens who want to get more involved in making change:

Foster Youth in Action:
Foster Care Alumni of America:
North American Council on Adoptable Children:
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[Other Teacher Resources]