Across the UK a large percentage of the young people needing foster placements are teenagers and there is a huge demand for foster carers to provide safe, stable homes for them.
There is a common misconception that teenagers who are in foster care are difficult or troublemakers, that they are in care because of something that they have done – but this is not the case. This myth is not only unfair on young people, it is also the reason that many people rule themselves out of fostering teenagers.
Teenagers in foster care, like any other age group will have been removed from their family for a wide range of different reasons. A large percentage will have experienced abuse or neglect, for others there may have been concerns about the home environment or the parents ability to care for them or meet their needs.
Teenagers in Foster Care
Being a teenager is difficult at the best of times, but for young people who have grown up in care it can be an even more anxious and worrying time. As well as the normal challenges that young people face during the transition to adulthood, teenagers in foster care are also coming to terms with being separated from their family, the background and experiences that have brought them into care and also the uncertainty about what the future holds.
For people considering fostering teenagers, it is important to try to understand the young person’s background, the challenges that they may be experiencing and the impact that may have on their behaviour. They may have issues with trust and may ‘act out’ as a way of hiding fear or insecurity. As a foster carer being supportive is key, helping the young person to understand and manage their feelings, build their self-esteem and gain their trust.
We are there to support you
We understand that the idea of taking a teenager into your home may be daunting and it won’t always be easy (parenting any teenager has its challenges!), but you are not alone when you are fostering with TACT. Our role is to support you to be the best carer that you can be for the children and young people in your care.
From your first contact with us and throughout the application and assessment process, our team are on hand to offer honest advice and support. Once you are approved, we will work with you to make the best possible placement for you and your family. You will receive 24/7 support from your Supervising Social Worker and your local TACT team. You will also have access to extensive training to help you learn and develop your skills throughout your fostering career.
Could you foster teenagers?
Fostering teenagers can be challenging, but equally it can be so rewarding.
At TACT we encourage anyone that is thinking about fostering to be as open minded as possible about the age of children they want to foster. It is important to remember that all young people are individuals, their backgrounds, experiences, and behaviours will vary regardless of whether they are 5 years or 15 years.
Like all children in foster care, regardless of their age, teenagers are in need of a safe, secure home and carers who can see their potential and help the help them to achieve it.
If this sounds like you, please get in touch…