The Rees centre and the department of social policy at Oxford University have produced a new booklet regarding the relationship with teenagers in foster care. To develop these findings, Foster carers, young people, social workers and local authorities attended seminars to produce relevant information to incorporate into a handbook.
The booklet describes how teenage years may be a particularly challenging period and that teenagers in care may bring different challenges and uncertainties to their placement. It states that having boundaries and structure in place is essential for healthy adolescent behaviour however, it is not so easy in foster care when there is challenging behaviour. Therefore, boundaries should be easily understood and should be agreed equally between the young person and foster carer.
Teenagers in placement may be difficult and the expectations of foster care might not turn out as predicted. However, the role of a foster carer is to be supportive and to create a trusting relationship where the young person can be safe and have a sense of belonging. It is important to believe in their achievements and give them hope of a positive future. At Sunbeam, we have an experienced and dedicated social work team who are available to support our foster carers 24 / 7. Foster carers receive ongoing training and support to promote stability for all children and young people, our young people have an opportunity to voice their views and experiences and promoting positive participation in their education, with peers and in the communities they live.
This handbook addresses key areas of teenagers in placement and what situations foster carers may face.