TikTok Creator Teaches the Importance of Fostering Teenagers
Brittany Burcham became a certified emergency foster parent in October 2019 and since then has fostered around 50 youth, most of whom are between 10-17 years old. ABC News shares that one of her teens pushed her to create her TikTok account (fostertheteens) last April in order to share her experiences and advice about fostering teenagers.
“She said to me, ‘Miss Brittany, there’s a lot of foster parents on TikTok, but they’re all talking about little kids. Nobody’s talking about fostering teenagers. You should do a TikTok about fostering teenagers,'” Burcham shares.
Burcham admits that she was hesitant about TikTok at first but exclaims, but, “I’ve been blown away by how many people are interested in the topic and who want to know more,” she explains.
Burcham was a court-appointed special advocate (CASA) before becoming a foster mother. CASAs are volunteers who are assigned to a child in foster care to advocate for that child and their best interests in court. Through her experience as a CASA, she was invested in becoming a licensed foster caregiver.
According to the most recent data from the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, there were about 424,000 kids in foster care as of September 2019. Of those, 26% were teenagers ages 13 to 19.
Older children are the “hardest to place,” Burcham says, which can be due to stereotypes that they’re more likely to be difficult and cause problems.
During her viral videos, Burcham answers questions, gives advice and shows how she prepares for incoming emergency foster youth. Her series is called “Things in My Foster Home” and details everything she has in her home for emergency fosters, such as blankets, night lights, toiletries and much more.
“They’re things that I’ve learned in this role,” Burcham shares in her TikTok series.
Burcham shares that she hopes her videos help “shine a positive light on foster care and the kids in it, as well as encourage more people to do it.”
Thank you, Brittany, for providing a safe space for older foster youth. We appreciate your efforts in making sure teens in care feel loved and supported!