Developing and Supporting Families for Teens

When child welfare agencies focus on actively developing and supporting current and prospective, foster, adoptive, and kinship parents, families will be better equipped to meet the specific needs of teens in their care. This kind of support should begin at the first point of contact with a prospective parent and continue long past adoption finalization. Building parents’ knowledge about adolescent brain development and the effects of trauma will improve a family’s knowledge and confidence in parenting their teen. In this section, you can explore more information about the ongoing development and support of families, resources to help prospective adoptive parents prepare to adopt a teenager, and how to find support when their family needs it.

The Adolescent Brain: New Research and Its Implications for Young People Transitioning From Foster Care (PDF - 742 KB)
Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative (2011)
Unpacks the last decade of research that has revealed a period of prolonged and vital brain development in adolescence. Learn what the experts now know, and what child welfare workers need to know, about applying these findings to youth in foster care.

Chapter 2: Assessing the Needs of Children and Youth in Adoption, Foster Care, and Kinship Care and Their Families (PDF - 568 KB)
National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment at AdoptUSKids (2015)
Provides information on tools for assessing family support needs, tip sheets on family support, and program profiles for family support programs from across the country. View the full publication, Support Matters: Lessons From the Field on Services for Adoptive, Foster, and Kinship Care Families (PDF - 2,170 KB).

Intervention and Program Catalog
Quality Improvement Center for Adoption and Guardianship Support and Preservation (QIC-AG) (2017)
Offers information on specific programs and services that are evidence based or use promising practices to provide pre- and postpermanency support for families. Also see the Introduction to the QIC-AG Permanency Continuum Framework (PDF - 210 KB). 

Trauma-Informed Practice With Young People in Foster Care (PDF - 447 KB)
Annie E. Casey Foundation (2012)
Defines trauma and examines the trauma that youth in foster care may go through and how caregivers and social workers can be ready to help.

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