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Fostering teenagers as they go through their teenage years can be very rewarding, but it also does come with its challenges. Their past experiences may reflect how they act; foster carers need to be understanding of the young person’s past experiences, communicate with them on a level they can relate to. This well help to build a positive relationship with them.
As according to recent Government fostering statistics, 24% of young persons who are in care are 16 and over and 39% of children and young persons in care are between the ages of 10-15 (statistics show as of 31st March 2017). By fostering a teenager, you could help and support them with life changing experiences. For example, supporting a teenager through their GCSE’s and seeing their outcomes! There is no greater sense of pride then seeing an older foster child achieving what they set out to do.
Fostering a teenager or an older child will provide you with the opportunity to teach them real life skills. You could teach them how to save and budget their money, show them how to cook or put the washing on. These just aren’t skills that they may use for the moment – they are skills that they will use throughout their whole life. Not only that, being a teenager they may have already gained some great life experiences that they may want to share with you.
Being a teenager and that bit slightly older than a younger child will provide you with the chance to have more flexibility. As a teenager has more independence, they are able to do more on their own, meaning that they do not need a constant eye kept on them and you can agree on more flexible boundaries, for example what time they are expected to be home by.
As a foster carer you may be able to relate more to a teenager, although you may not be able to relate to everything that has happened to them in the past you may be able to share some of your life experiences and give them guidance. This may also give you the chance to bond with them a build-up trust and a strong positive relationship with them.
Whether you are helping a teenager to get their grades at school, supporting them with their hobbies, helping them achieve their life long dreams or watching them grow and mature. Fostering a teenager is a most rewarding.
If you would like to know more about fostering a teenager, contact us to speak to a member of our recruitment team. We will be able to provide you with all of the answers to your questions and help you begin your fostering journey.