A large proportion of foster children in the UK are teenagers which means there is a large demand for foster carers for young people aged 13 to 17. If you have permanent or long term children living with you and they grow into teenagers, you already have a sense of who they are and they have a sense of who you are. If teenagers come into your life as new placements, becoming acquainted may take a while. It’s part of being the age that they are and it is part of their experience with foster care.
The transition into adulthood can be tough even under the best of circumstances. There are so many hormonal and physical changes taking place. Concerns about appearance, peer pressure, and the future add to the pressure. As foster children approach 18, they are aware that soon they will be aging out of foster care and entering adulthood. The hope and the dream is that once they are on their own, life will become the type of life that they have believed is possible. However, they have often discovered that reality has a way of not living up to expectations.
Fostering teenagers through these changes can take a great deal of time and effort. The lines of communication may need to be repaired before you begin. If you have been through this before, you have the kind of experience and knowledge that can guide you. If you have not been through it before, you have the support of Capstone Foster Care and its professionals.
Often, by the time they are at this age, they have been in care for a long time. Some have been returned to their family several times over. They are old enough to be more aware of what is happening around them. Often they have learned to keep their thoughts and feelings to themselves. They stop viewing their new home as a permanent place to stay.
Sex is a powerful factor in a teenager’s life. When you are a parent to teenagers, you will be faced with conversations about sex, love, and relationships. The stronger your comfort level when it comes to these discussions, the more successful they will be.
According to studies, young women in foster care are more than twice as likely to become pregnant before they are 19 years old. The reasons for the higher incidents of pregnancy in female foster teenagers is not clear. Perhaps they think that having a baby is a way of creating a strong family bond. Maybe it is simply a lack of awareness about sexuality.
If you are the kind of person who can accept the challenges of fostering older children, you may find great rewards in caring for and helping adolescents. You will not be alone in the task of leading a boy or girl into the intricacies of a successful and happy adulthood.
Young people in this age group who have been in care can display difficult behaviour at home and in school. They may make poor choices of friends and they are often not very tactful in telling you what they think of your attempts to control them with rules and advice that they do not wish to listen to.
Capstone Foster Care offers a strong support system with training, social workers, and a team of professionals who can assist in working through any problems that may arise.See more articles…