Preparing Our Teens for Life

As foster parents you sometimes accept the responsibility of raising a child until they are ready to leave the system. Did you receive that manual that gives you a checklist of things your child will need to know before heading out on their own? Me either.

Even with our own biological children, we forget some of the important skills they will need when they move off to college or get their first real job and move away from home. Here are some simple skills to remember when assessing your child’s strengths:

Imagine if you were sent out into the world without having learned some of these basic life skills. Some of the children we deal with have been in residential facilities and have never learned even the most basic skills.

One tool to assess the “life skills” of teens is the Ansell-Casey Life Skills Assessment. You can access it free at The assessment has three age group choices. You will first have the child fill out the assessment online to give their own assessment of their skills. (This is very humorous to those of us that have to fill it out after them and see that they gave themselves the highest score in every area!) The parent then uses the same Youth ID number they did for the youth version of the assessment and fills out the caregiver version of the assessment. By using the same Youth ID for both versions, you receive via email a detailed report giving you mastery levels, percentages, and a detailed list of the questions and how both you and the youth answered each question. This is a fantastic way of assessing the areas in which your child needs guidance. As always, take a deep breath, smile, and know that you are treasured in this world and the next!