Teenagers tend to get a bad rep in the media. We often see reports of teenagers failing at school, wrapped up in the world of social media or displaying anti-social behaviour. These labels tend to stick more to young people who are from a care background, contributing to the narrative that teenagers present more difficulty when fostering.
Our campaign at the end of last year, ‘Teenagers are Fun’ aims to open up mindsets and position young people in a new light. By putting the spotlight on teenagers we hope to encourage prospective foster carers and also current carers to see how fostering a teenager can actually be a wonderful experience.
Here at Ascent Fostering, since we began in 2013 we have always worked with teenagers and have witnessed many of them blossom with their foster families. So, why do we think fostering teenagers is fun?:
- LEARN – when you foster a teenager you both can learn so much from each other. So many of our foster carers tell us that after fostering a teenager they learnt so much. Whether it’s learning the latest trends, newest colloquials or knowing who the ‘next best thing since sliced bread is’ having a teenager means you are always learning something new. However, most importantly it’s what a teenager can teach you about yourself in the process. Each day uncovering something new.
- QUALITY TIME – an advantage of fostering a teenager is that there are so many activities that you can do together. From go-karting, indoor rock climbing, bowling, cooking classes, the list just goes on. Quality time is an important factor when building a relationship, especially outside the home. There are so many benefits such as ‘building self-esteem, strengthening bonds, develops positive behaviours, improves communication and help academic performance’ (ParentingNI – The Importance of Spending Time Together
- REWARDING – fostering teenagers is extremely rewarding as you can often see the changes really clearly. You’re teaching life skills such as budgeting and helping them plan for the future. When you support them to move onto independent living and see them doing well, you have a great sense of pride
Here are some of what our carers have to say about fostering teenagers:
“They keep me young and engaged”
“My young person shows me his latest dance moves – hilarious”
“I love shopping with my young person, she has me trying on things I would have never thought would look good”
“I get to hear the latest chat-up lines”
“We try to play a board game after dinner on a Sunday, this always ends up with us laughing at the most ridiculous things”
“I never thought taking selfies could be such fun , lots of filters lots of laughs”
We are always seeking loving, stable homes for teenagers who may have experienced a tricky headstart to life. If you live in South London and have a spare room, we would love to hear from you. In return you’ll receive in-depth training, ongoing support and witness the positive change you can make in a young person’s life.