What Every Teen Needs - Especially Foster Teens

Gulf Coast Healthy Living Magazine Volume 5, Issue 1 - Families First Network

What every teen needs..especially foster teens.

Picture of the Koehler Family
After being in foster care for a long time, Mary was adopted. However, many teens don’t experience adoption, but they can be paired with loving, safe foster homes.
Picture of the Koehler Family

It isn’t always easy being a child much less a teenager. Finding the right peer group is important, but for some youngsters, finding a safe and loving home is even more important.

Many children in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties have been removed from their homes due to abuse, abandonment or neglect. They need good environments where they can prepare for adulthood. Katherine and Mikhy Koehler have made it their mission to help.

The Koehlers began fostering children in 2014 when they discovered that they couldn’t have children of their own. They’ve fostered several ages, but were especially drawn to one teen named Mary. They met during a group home event sponsored by their church. The three bonded instantly, and when the couple learned that Mary would soon turn 18 and “age out” of the system, they took action to adopt her.

It isn’t always easy being a child much less a teenager. Finding the right peer group is important, but for some youngsters, finding a safe and loving home is even more important.

Many children in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties have been removed from their homes due to abuse, abandonment or neglect. They need good environments where they can prepare for adulthood. Katherine and Mikhy Koehler have made it their mission to help.

The Koehlers began fostering children in 2014 when they discovered that they couldn’t have children of their own. They’ve fostered several ages, but were especially drawn to one teen named Mary. They met during a group home event sponsored by their church. The three bonded instantly, and when the couple learned that Mary would soon turn 18 and “age out” of the system, they took action to adopt her.

From their experiences as foster parents, the Koehlers have pulled together some useful tips to help others interested in fostering teens:

  • Be patient. Foster children have been disappointed for a long time, and some may take a little time to learn how to trust again.
  • Learn about their interests.
  • Set traditions such as holiday decorating and family movie nights.
  • Always be available to give positive reinforcement.
  • Be sure they know that you want to hear what they have to say. Chances are they’ve never experienced that.

If you are interested in learning more about foster care, visit FamiliesFirstNetwork.org
or call 850.453.7777