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Fostering teenagers

Fostering teenagers can be an incredibly rewarding decision that often goes unnoticed within the broader umbrella of foster care. On this webpage we hope to dispel some of the myths surrounding fostering teenagers, answer the question of what a teenage foster placement is, and to assist those who are wondering how to foster a teenager.

Cusp of Adulthood

As the young people we help to look after stride towards the threshold of adulthood, they grapple with the complexities of independence and decision-making. Consequently, providing a stable and nurturing foster home becomes crucial in supporting their journey towards self-reliance. Foster parents play an instrumental role in shaping positive outcomes for teenagers in care, bringing transformative changes not only to the lives of these young individuals but also enriching their own lives with unparalleled fulfilment.

Statistics on Fostering Teenagers

The demand for foster families willing to open their hearts and homes to teenagers is particularly acute in Wales. Statistics from 2019 highlight this need: in Wales, of 6,845 looked after children and young people, 1,015 were aged 16 or 17, and 2,545 were between 10 to 15 years old, making up 52% of all children and young people in care.

Common Misconceptions about teenage foster placements

Contrary to common misconceptions, fostering teenagers is not necessarily more challenging than caring for younger children; it's a different experience that brings its own set of rewards and challenges. Teenagers are navigating a pivotal phase of great change, dealing with fluctuating hormones, emerging sexuality, and the daunting prospect of impending adulthood. These factors can exacerbate insecurities, trust issues, and communication barriers, particularly among those who have experienced multiple care placements or traumatic events.

Teenagers in care often face the disruption of being removed from their familiar environments, including separation from their peer groups, which plays a significant role in their social lives and daily interactions. The transition to a new foster home adds another layer of challenge, making it imperative for foster parents to possess patience, understanding, and the ability to build trust with those who may have difficulty trusting others.

Views of our current Foster Parents  

Katie and Tyler (pictured) are foster parents with us at Family Fostering Partners, their journey to fostering teenagers is typical of many.

“When we were thinking about fostering, we didn’t initially have an idea of what we wanted from a foster child. We later realised that it’s us fitting into their lives, not the other way around. With our lifestyle, the house that we have, we felt that older children would get the best from it. Fostering teenagers isn’t the popular choice for whatever reason, but for us it works”.

As for fostering as a whole, Katie adds:

“Unfortunately, there is a level of stigma around fostering, whereas you’ll hear the 1 in 50 horror stories, you don’t hear the 49 amazing achievements. People might be worried they don’t have the patience, understanding or ability to do it, but from someone who doesn’t have their own birth children, it came so naturally. I have asked a few people if they had ever thought about fostering, and the response is usually ‘no I just couldn’t do it’. But I think that’s due to a lack of understanding”.

Their story illustrates the importance of flexibility, understanding, and the willingness to adapt to the needs and lives of foster teenagers through a supportive and open home environment. Fostering teenagers is not just about providing a roof over their heads; it's about offering guidance, stability, and the warmth of a caring relationship during a critical period of their lives. The decision to foster, as Katie and Tyler discovered, can be a transformative one, not just for the teenagers in need of a supportive home but for the foster parents themselves. It challenges societal stigmas and misconceptions, revealing the profound impact that a caring and understanding foster home can have on a teenager's life.

Fostering Teenagers with Family Fostering Partners

If you were to become Foster Parents with us at Family Fostering Partners, you will never be alone. You will become part of a larger community, a "big family group" where support, advice, and encouragement are always available. We believe having a wide network of carers and professionals helps build a sense of belonging and mutual support, essential for navigating the challenges and celebrating the successes of fostering teenagers.

Fostering is an act of caregiving that transcends the ordinary. It requires patience, understanding, teamwork, and, most importantly, love. For those considering the path of fostering a teenager, it's an opportunity to make a significant difference in a young person's life, guiding them towards a brighter future. The experiences of Katie and Tyler outlined here reflects the deep sense of fulfilment and purpose that comes from this uniquely rewarding experience.

Have you considered Fostering Teenagers?

In conclusion, fostering teenagers is a transformative journey that offers the chance to impact the lives of young individuals at a critical juncture. It's about building trust, understanding, and a supportive environment where teenagers can thrive. For those willing to take on this rewarding challenge, fostering a teenager is not just about changing a young person's life; it's about enriching your own.

If you would like to learn more about how to foster a teenager, you can get in touch with us by visiting our Contact Us page, by phoning 0330 0948816, by emailing info@familyfosteringpartners.co.uk, or by using our live chat feature.

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