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Fostering a Teen: A Successful Turnaround


Foster parent Charlotte and Dan
Charlotte and Dan*

Little City foster parent, Charlotte, always thought she never wanted to foster teens, just young children. Her mind was changed when Dan* was presented to her. She was told that if Dan did not get into the right home, he might not be able to turn his life around.

Before coming to Charlotte’s home, Dan was placed in a residential facility for six years. He was then placed in a home in the south side of Chicago for four years. He started to hang out with the wrong crowd and got himself into trouble frequently. Dan loved his previous foster parent, but said it was just not a good environment for him. Now that he is in Charlotte’s home, his life has turned around completely. Dan has straight A’s, joined the basketball team is more sociable.

Zachary Zuniga, Little City Child Welfare Specialist, stated that “Dan is a great reminder of how, no matter how lost or off-track our youth in care may seem, there is always hope. Dan, with the positive relationship of his foster parent and self-determination, has made great strides in every aspect of his life. He is on track and now has a one-way ticket to a successful future.”

Dan says he is motivated to do well in all areas of his life because he wants a career. He wants to go to college and study criminal intent or forensics. Dan says it helps that he has so much support through Charlotte and her family as well as Little City.

If Charlotte could give any advice to someone who is on the fence about becoming a foster parent of a teenager, it would be to not be afraid to ask as many questions as you can. The more you know about a teenager before they are in your home, the more you can prepare yourself for what lies ahead.

“Dan shattered expectations of what a teen in my home would be like. He’s worth it,” said Charlotte.


*Name has been changed.

"There are so many capable and caring staff at Little City, past and present, who have helped Clifford. He has made a lot of progress in mastering his behavior."

Colleen, Mother of a child living in a ChildBridge Group Home