We're looking for foster carers who can support our adolescents and teenagers across Medway.
Many myths around adolescent fostering prevent our young people receiving the care they require and deserve.
Fostering a teenager does require particular skills for the varied and challenging role. You must have:
It’s your role to provide stability, safety and secure boundaries, whilst also encouraging them to spread their wings and experience different things.
Alongside our professional foster carers, we offer tailored care that meets the needs of each of our young people in care to afford them the opportunities to maximise their potential and to lead enriching lives. This successfully contributes to a substantial increase in their social, emotional, and educational development and achievement.
Opportunities to thrive
Robert Tapsfield, a former Chief Executive of the Fostering Network once said: “Some teenagers in care have faced trauma beyond what can be comprehended by most of us. This means skilled foster carers are urgently needed to help them overcome their trauma, and to help them develop their self-esteem and expectations so that they can achieve their full potential.”
Teenagers need opportunities to thrive, and our foster carers provide them the stability and support to:
- further their education
- embark on a career
- manage their emotions.
It’s essential that foster carers and their families come forward with the ability to offer a teenager the stability to thrive and the love and support they need to achieve their potential.
"Fostering is seeing the progress of a young person in your care. There is no better feeling when they open up and want to work with you."
Our professional foster carers have found that placement stability was more achievable when our children and young people had a significant person in whom they could confide. As foster carers, they bear the capacity to hear painful past events and are trained to support the child to resolve their trauma.
It can be a different type of challenge, with many amazing rewards, and we have foster carers who are approved and dedicated to supporting our adolescents.
They have told us that looking after adolescents is extremely rewarding. Knowing that you’re helping a young person develop confidence and self-esteem, resolve their problems, and make plans for the future.
"As with any young person, the learning is a 2-way thing; they have taught us all about situations that we may never have come across."
Tips for fostering teenagers
It’s important to understand the trials and tribulations that you may face when fostering a teenager.
Parenting teenagers is hard enough at the best of times, even when you are caring for your own children. However, when you are supporting a foster child, there are a few more things you need to consider when it comes to their behaviour and developing your relationship.
There’s no right or wrong way to address situations with your child, as every child and every family is different.
Here, some of our adolescent foster carers share some insights as to what has worked for them over the years.
Giving teenagers a chance to establish their own identity by giving them more independence is essential to helping them.
Do not try to constantly keep them on a tight leash, or you may find they pull away harder.
Choose the battles with your foster child wisely.
When you start to nit-pick and tell them off for everything, they will listen less. Getting on to them constantly is counterproductive.
Invite your foster children’s friends over for dinner. It will let you meet their friends and will also let your foster child see that you’re interested in their lives.
Instead of interrogating your foster child, simply try to act interested.
Share things about your day before asking them about theirs. Let them know they can talk to you about things by sharing with them.
Your actions, even more than your words, are critical in helping your foster child adopt good moral and ethical standards.
Try to be someone your foster child will want to look up to. By demonstrating this, they will be less likely to make bad decisions in their teen years.
Interested in fostering a teenager
The most important thing is to get to know your foster child as best you can. By being open and honest with them, they will learn to trust you and respect you.
Throughout Medway, we are keen to recruit foster carers with the right skills and motivations so that each young person is given the effective support they need and deserve.
If you think you have what it takes, that you can inspire a young person in your care, and are interested in fostering a teenager, contact us.