We need people who can offer teenagers a safe and secure home. Somewhere they can find their feet, build their self-confidence and become more independent. People who will be there for them and encourage them to live their lives to their full potential. Fostering a teenager is not just for the present, it’s setting them up for the rest of their life.
Like all young people they need help to organise their lives, to deal with their feelings and have good times with friends. We need foster carers to help them learn good practical skills such as cooking and managing money. People who will listen and be there to talk to them, helping them to make sense of their worries and showing them the positive side to life.
Fostering teenagers might suit you - young people are more independent than younger children who are often physically demanding. Your wisdom, experience and knowledge, as well as your ability to listen gives you a lot to offer an older child.
You can give advice and guidance but often it’s things like helping them complete an application form, budget their own money or just giving them a compliment.
Like all young people, teenagers in foster care need a family or an individual who can help make a difference to their life and future prospects. They need the safety and security of a loving foster family and you could make all the difference to them.
We’ve all been teenagers, so we understand how difficult and exciting the world can be at this stage. Your care and influence could be the launch pad to the rest of their life. This may be a daunting prospect, but it’s also a hugely rewarding one too. Whether it’s choosing subjects at school, or being accepted onto their college course, there’s no greater sense of pride than seeing an older foster child making positive choices for a brighter future.
As a foster carer you’ll make sure they’ve got enough clothes, are well fed, healthy and supported with their education. Alongside this you will support them emotionally and liaise with social workers, teachers and support contact with their birth family. You may play a key role in supporting them to understand their own identity and with making and sustaining healthy positive relationships.
You don’t need to have experience of parenting adolescents or working with young people, in a professional role but there are several useful qualities we are looking for such as, being able to listen and being patient and caring. We welcome people of all ages who are warm, open minded, and have the skills to develop positive relationships and being able to communicate with a network of people including professionals, young people and their birth family would be an advantage. We also need you to have stamina and a good sense of humour!
We will be there with you every step of the way, from your initial enquiry through to looking after your first young person, and beyond.
Some teenagers who are going through a difficult time in their lives need extra help and support to manage and overcome these circumstances.
To give these young people the best chance we are asking people to commit to fostering them for at least 12-weeks so that their needs can be assessed during this time. Throughout this period, you will be working closely with the young person’s network of important people, including the young person’s social worker and their birth family to support a return home or to the care of family members where possible.
During these 12 weeks we will also support you financially with our enhanced foster care allowance. Because you will be fostering teenagers in emergency circumstances, you will be paid a higher fostering fee of £555.88 per week. You will only receive this fee while you have a specific young person placed with you but because we have urgent need for foster carers for teenagers, we don’t expect long gaps between placements.
You will receive regular training to help you in your work with teenagers and enhance your skills. Alongside this your supervising social worker, our placement support team and peer support from experienced carers will provide support and guidance. We always aim to match teenagers with carers who best suit their individual needs, and our team of staff will discuss this with you in detail.
As part of the initial assessment process, we will ask you to attend our fostering preparation group and a one-off training session on development during adolescence. This will give you a more in-depth understanding of the foster caring role before you decide to go ahead.
After you are approved as a foster carer you can attend a monthly support group focused on caring for adolescents, to share experiences with other carers and hear from guest speakers on subjects relevant to the role.