Could you foster a teenager?
Lots of people have the wrong idea about teenagers in foster care - young people are not in care because they have done something wrong - they are in care through no fault of their own.
Did you know that 63% of young people in foster care in England are aged between 10 and 18, while 24% are over the age of 16? Here in Bradford we urgently need more people to foster children and young people of this age group.
We all remember how we felt as teenagers. Your teenage years were likely filled with embarrassing moments, fashion disasters and friendship changes as you grew older and learnt more about your likes and dislikes.
Our teenagers in care are also going through similar experiences but without the support of a stable home environment to give them a solid foundation during this time. The support of foster carers and social workers is therefore so important.
Some teenagers with care experience have lived through negative experiences such as neglect, trauma and abuse, so will need support from adults like you to give them the stability and acceptance they need to move on from their start in life.
Ultimately, young people in care need stability, trust and a home where they feel safe and loved. Could you provide this?
Here’s 5 reasons why you should consider fostering older children and teenagers.
"I have managed to guide a teenager through GCSE’s with good grades and prom with no drama. I find it all rewarding" - Tracy
You will be able to care for a child through important stages of their life
From GCSE options to exam results, relationships and first jobs, many ‘firsts’ take place while a child is in their teenage years.
These ‘firsts’ can be both good and bad - so it’s important a teen has the right people around them, to help them know how to make positive choices, reflect on any negative choices they make and help them accept mistakes without judging or shaming them.
As a foster carer for teenagers, you can help a young person navigate through these times.
Older children and teenagers can often describe their feelings easier than younger children
As a child ages, they learn more about themselves and the world around them, making it easier for them to describe their feelings.
Just as some children may express their feelings physically, older children and young people often have the ability to express their feelings verbally, which will help you understand and help find the best ways to support the child.
You do not need to have parented teenagers before to foster a teenager
It is a misconception that potential foster carers need experience parenting children in the age range they wish to foster. This is not true.
As long as you meet our fostering requirements and have the right qualities and skills to foster, we would be happy to help you care for children and young people in the Bradford district.
All our carers receive extensive training and support, so you will never be alone as a Bradford foster carer.
You will help them develop new skills and knowledge
During the teenage years, many children make decisions about their future aspirations and goals which will have a defining impact on the rest of their lives.
You can help a young person develop the necessary skills and knowledge they need to grow into successful adults.
You can provide a stable, loving home
Some children and young people in care previously lived in negative family situations and may have experienced trauma and neglect.
When you foster a teenager, you can provide a stable home environment, which they can then emulate and reflect on when they reach adulthood.
From the school run to regular meal times, by providing stability, reliability, empathy and understanding in a teenagers life, you can make the inevitable stresses of being a young adult easier.
Would you like to learn more about fostering in Bradford?
If you think you could make a difference to a young person’s life in the Bradford district, we would love to hear from you. Please download an information pack or rates sheet from the links below, or book a call back to speak to a member of our friendly team today.