Q Should I still care about my birth family?

Just because you are in foster care does not mean that your parents do not love you or that they are bad people. At the time, they may not have been emotionally, mentally, or financially stable enough to provide you with a loving home. You can still love your parents and have affection, but you should also realize that your foster family also wants to provide you with love and care in the short- or long-term, which is why they opened up their home to you.

Q What if I don't like my foster family?

It is important to let the foster family know how you are feeling and see if something can be worked out between you and your foster family. Also talk with your lawyer and social worker about possible options to resolve the situation.

Q How do I create a better relationship with my foster family?

Respect them and talk to them about your thoughts and feelings. Relationships rely on respect and trust so improving these areas of your relationship with them is important. If you don't feel comfortable telling them directly how you feel, work with your social worker and/or lawyer to draft a letter detailing your feelings and expressing your thoughts.

Q What is Domestic Violence?

The way you know if you are experiencing domestic violence is if your boy­friend, girlfriend, partner, or spouse has a pattern of:

  • Trying to control your life
  • Hitting or touching you in a bad way
  • Making you have sex without you wanting to
  • Breaking your stuff
  • Telling you they are going to do something bad to you.

Q How do I know if I am in a healthy relationship?

Have fun in your relationship, but be SAFE! Be clear about what you want to avoid:

  • mixed up thoughts,
  • confused feelings, and
  • bad outcomes

Q What about sex?

Some teens choose not to have sex for religious, emotional or legal reasons. BE CLEAR! If you don’t know someone well enough to talk about sex, you probably don’t know the person well enough to have sex. Remember that the only guaranteed way to prevent having a baby is to NOT have sex.

Q How can I feel better about myself?

Begin with your thoughts! Try to think positively about yourself and say kind words to yourself instead of negative ones. Instead of saying, "I can't do this" or "I am ugly," remind yourself, "I can do this!" and "I am beautiful!"

Tips to feel better about yourself

  • Do a good deed: Hold the door for someone or help someone in need.
  • Boost your energy: Listen to good music or go for a little walk to get your energy flowing.
  • Become an expert: Pick a random topic and research it on the web.
  • Keep a resolution: Challenge yourself every morning to accomplish one thing by the end of the day.
  • Make small gestures of kindness: Smile at strangers or ask someone how their day is going.
  • Face a fear: Do something that you have put off or have been afraid to do.
  • Make something by hand: Draw, paint, or express yourself creatively.

Q What if I don't feel safe?

Call 911 immediately if you don’t feel safe. Tell your foster parent, guardian, social worker, lawyer, or counselor and work to create a safety plan. SafeLink Hotline is: 1-877-785-2020.