Four Christmas present ideas for teens in foster care

Whether you are fostering teenagers in your home or selecting a child from the “Angel Tree,” choosing the right gift for an adolescent can be tricky. Here are four ideas for gifting foster teens this holiday season:

  • Bus passes: As children grow, they desire more autonomy. Teenagers like the idea of independence, and providing transportation passes allows them to travel to work, social activities, and school events. Oftentimes teenagers in foster care can feel powerless as they await the unknown each day, but the gift of transportation can give them a sense of control in an otherwise uncertain situation.
  • Shoes: Believe it or not, shoes are the toughest item to come by in many foster clothes closets. When children are removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect, they are not able to bring every pair of shoes along with them (assuming they have multiple pairs). If you can, learn the shoe size of the foster teen you are gifting before buying.
    TIP: Make sure the style of shoes is somewhat “classic” and not too trendy, as they will likely be paired with various outfits.
  • Prepaid Phone: Many biological, adoptive, and foster teens share at least one common interest: electronics. Teenagers feel connected to their peers through the use of a cell phone. Gift your foster teen with a prepaid phone, granting them a sense of independence and a chance to be a part of the world around them.
  • Gift cards: Personal style begins to emerge during adolescence. During this stage, teens value both their individuality and a sense of belonging. Each of these needs is often achieved by exercising their personal style. Providing gift cards grants the freedom of choice.