Needed: Foster Parents for Teenagers

Sarah and Billy Jackson have raised four children and continue to play a part in the lives of their 12 grandchildren and their first great-grandchild. But for nearly a quarter of a century, the Baker couple has opened their hearts and their home to dozens of other children — teenagers in foster care.

“We stopped counting at 100,” Sarah Jackson said.

Jackson said she loves babies, but teens are more vulnerable in a different way. “Teens are closer to being grownups,” she said. “We want to try to make a difference in their lives.”

The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services believes there are more people like the Jacksons who would shine in the role of foster parents for teens and they are on the hunt to find them.

The state agency has launched a recruiting campaign to find more foster parents with help from the national Annie E. Casey Foundation, which works to improve the lives of disadvantaged children.

The need for foster parents for teens is greater than ever.

Louisiana joined 28 other states this year in expanding foster care to age 21, a long-sought goal of the state agency and nonprofit groups that advocate for children…

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