The average age of a child in foster care is more than 8 years old, and there are slightly more boys than girls. Children and youth enter foster care because they have been abused, neglected, or abandoned by their parents or guardians.
Many people who first consider fostering often think that younger children will be easier and less challenging than older young people. But fostering teenagers is often very different as this quote from a teenager in care shows. “I love living here because the bedclothes smell nice and fresh.”
Teenagers can laugh with you; they may cry with you, and they will often look after you when you too are feeling low in a way that children and young people are unable to do. They can help around the home and feel part of a family that they may never have had. They give you praise for what you are doing making you feel valued.
Teenagers need guidance, care and support just as much as younger children and we believe their age shouldn’t stand in the way of them receiving this.
Hanging Pictures in the Home shortly after a new child comes to your home, hang pictures of them around the house with the other family photos. Spend Time Together. Cooking Together. Eating Meals Together. Most importantly let them know you are listening to them. This way they will settle more and feel part of the family. Fostering teenagers can be incredibly rewarding since they’ll be old enough to have real conversations with, and to make a genuine impression on them. They have a lot of love to give, and they need someone to step up and be there for them. It could be you!
If you feel you can offer a home to a teenager, please get in touch with us.