What Teens Need

As parents we are very much aware that, as our children grow, so does the complexity of their needs.

For adolescents and teenagers, there is nothing more important than being surrounded by committed adults who understand where they are in life and who refuse to give up on them. For teens in foster care, many of whom have experienced childhood trauma and are without the safety net of a traditional family, this need is magnified.

Too often our teens in foster care are not getting the stability they need. And too often our teen caregivers are left on their own to navigate the complexities of caring for a young person who is wrestling with the impacts of adverse childhood experiences along with the many insecurities and heightened emotions so common at this age.

We must do more to ensure their success.

About TeenEmbrace

Embrace Families’ TeenEmbrace is a program designed with the needs of our teen caregivers in mind.

Like a big, trusty umbrella, this array of services provides an extra level of support and coverage to homes caring for children ages 13 to 17. The program is designed to wrap teens in foster care — and their caregivers — with the resources and support they need to increase stability of family placements and to enhance the well-being of the entire family.

Your Teen Support Specialist

Teen Support Specialists (TSS) provide an added layer of support for our older kids and their caregivers.

Your TSS is another caring adult prepared to do what it takes to help each child succeed. Their role includes direct connection with the teen to help facilitate youth transition meetings, coordinate vital documents, provide access to educational resources and work experience, and much more.

The TSS serves as a specialized resource for understanding the unique needs of the teenager in your care, navigating the often complex child welfare system, and serving as a sounding board for inevitable questions and concerns that those raising teens encounter.

Resources for our Teen Caregivers

CORE Teen Training
Training – Award-winning curriculum for prospective and current parents who are, or will be, raising older children from foster care who have moderate to severe emotional and behavioral challenges.

Nonviolent Crisis Intervention Training
Training – Flagship CPI training focuses on de-escalation techniques, risk assessment, and both nonrestrictive and restrictive interventions.

Caregiver Respite
Self-time – Experienced group of back-up caregivers with specialized training working with teens.

Resources for our Teens; Support for their Caregivers

Intervention & Treatment Program
Therapeutic Intervention – 24/7 response. Dedicated therapist involvement starts with youth, but includes support for entire household. Therapist actively involved in team working to stabilize placement.

DJJ Involvement
System Navigation – Specialist to support households/youth in the Juvenile Justice System. Attends court hearings, in touch with probation officer, assists with community service, resource to caregivers.

Life Skill Support – Additional positive role model, helps prepare youth for adulthood by teaching life skills and building healthy attachments.

Programs for our Teens; Support for their Caregivers

Keys to Independence
Skill Enhancement – Helps teens in foster care earn their permit and license. Provides driver training and insurance coverage.

Cars for Kids
Financial Assistance – Helps teens in foster care qualify for car loan at affordable rates.

High School High Tech
Career Exploration – Visits to work sites and academic programs to prepare teens for in-demand careers.

First Star UCF Academy
College Prep – Year-round, multi-year educational support program with on-campus live/work experience.

Work Experience – Paid Summer Apprenticeship Program

Breaks for Teens
Travel Experience – School Break Adventures and Field Trips

Educational Attainment – Educational coaching dedicated to achieving grade-level attainment and graduation.

Youth Advisory Board
Peer Support – Monthly gathering of peers offers engagement, leadership, advocacy, skill development and self-determination.

For More Information

Email youthservices@embracefamilies.org.