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In it for the long haul: Stacey’s foster parenting story

Youth basketball coach connects with teens

Foster mom plays basketball in the driveway with two foster youth boys

As a youth basketball coach, Stacey was skilled at making connections with teens. And she realized she could naturally transition her coaching skills to provide care and opportunities for teens as a foster parent.

“I approached foster parenting similar to coaching,” she says. “Instead of trying to be their mom, I try to be their coach, which involves building a relationship with them and teaching them the small skills they need to do the big things in life.”

Although the primary goal is reunification, teens who come into care may age out before that can happen. For these young people entering adulthood on their own, Stacey says, “I get to be a support, a soft place for them to land as they grow into young adults.... As they’re moving into their first apartment, looking for a new job, applying for college, having their first children, it’s important as a foster parent to be in it for the long haul with them.”

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