Mindsets of Growth in Group Home Care--Teens

There is definitely a continuum of mindsets that a young person experiences as they progress through stages at Group Homes. There is also a mindset that adults need to have to help them continue to develop and not stall in adolescence.



When a youth moves in…

"I’m starving to be loved, but not sure if it is possible or even worth pursuing. This may result in behaviors that seem to counter my hope to be accepted; frustrating or even shocking those around me. Please understand that I have a higher need for attention than even approval.

"Because of my history which often included trauma, abandonment and interactions with a system that can be more concerned about my placement than my development, I’m assuming you don’t understand me and that it isn’t your priority."

As they experience our level of care…

"Because you engage me, want to hear my strengths and learn what I value I begin to open up and risk, believing that maybe you understand me a little or are at least interested in learning about me without judging me."

As they prepare to leave…

"Because of your consistent endeavors to engage me and remind me of my strengths and values, I’m beginning to understand and accept myself as well."


(Mindsets an adult needs to maintain to help youth develop)

I am mindful you have been wounded and that you are going through a difficult adolescence. I’m mindful that you may have had many living situations before this one where you’ve experienced other people—adults and youth—as undependable or even manipulative.

Making sure you are physically safe is important to me, but so is making sure you grow emotionally and relationally while we’re together. I want you to be able to find resilience in yourself, not me, but I realize that won’t happen if you don’t first find that strength, understanding and belonging in me.

It won’t surprise me when you act confused—either as an adolescent or a human being that has been wounded—but count on me to always be one who brings you back to your center of values and resilience.

I want you to learn about the world as a fair and stable place, knowing there are caring people who will take an interest in you and assist you if you are compassionate and giving. I want you to be confident of communicating with that world, able to create healthy relationships that will sustain your well-being throughout your life.


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