New division focuses on better teen outcomes

Family Support Services (FSS) created a new division to focus on developing positive relationships, stronger connections and overall healing within the foster teen community. The Youth Well-Being team, headed by Sarah Markman-Sayar, FSS’ vice president of operating services, says, “We needed to figure out how to support foster parents better while ensuring that teenagers could have positive and stable connections within their foster families.”

FSS is shifting to a proactive system that is sensitive to the trauma that teens in foster care experience. “This begins by listening to foster teens and understanding exactly what they want and need as they grow into adults,” says Sayar.

The team’s plans for 2020 include:

  •  Revamping recruitment strategies for teens to increase quality youth-specific placements to help reinforce more stable connections
  • Creating a youth advisory board so teens have a voice in changes affecting the experiences they’ve had in the system of care
  • Hosting quarterly events for teens to help provide independent living skills
  • Finding and sustaining community partnerships to offer additional wraparound services to teens that enhance physical, social and         emotional well-being.

Sayar envisions life-changing results from the new program. “We want to see teens in positive relationships, better connected to the world around them,” she says. “We want them engaged in their own self-care and well-being. Overall, we want better outcomes for our teens, so they can have more stability within their foster families and their futures.”

For more information about Youth Well-Being, click here.(Link to Youth Well-Being webpage).