Fostering teens comes with an initial fear response from most people who can view them as ‘problem children’, disrespectful, oppositional, defiant, resistant to trust and kids who are generally difficult to parent.
The truth is that these kids had ‘problem parents’ and through no fault of their own, found themselves in care. They are trying to make sense out of the fact that their entire world has been pulled out from under their feet. They will need time to sort through it all.
A Place To Call Home
The truth is that foster parenting, in general, is not easy. It can be exhausting both physically and emotionally, no matter what age the child is.
The truth is that the majority of teens or tweens in care are kids who just want to be in a loving family that provides them structure and stability.
People who have had the experience of fostering teens, more often than not, have amazing experiences. People describe fostering teens as; “the best thing they could have done”. “These teens are wise beyond their years”. “They are compassionate and loving”. “Teens are kids you can have amazing transforming conversations with”. “You can introduce them to a loving home, possibly share in the first birthday they have ever had, introduce them to a holiday they have never celebrated. You may be the only family they have to be there for them as they graduate from high school, get married, have their first child”.
10 Reasons to foster teens, as written by those who do it:
Tips on how to be a GREAT foster parent to teens:
Teens may fight attaching to foster families after what they have been through, but what they are really looking for is someone who will fight for them.
Some teens may try to push you away, they may dismiss your genuine attempts to love and connect with them, but is that what they really want? Maybe what they want and need you to do is to prove yourself to them, prove that you will stand no matter how hard they push, prove that you won’t walk away, like everyone they have known and loved has. Their walls have protected them and until you prove that you are not walking away and that you are genuine and committed they may keep that wall up.
Understand that teens coming into care, or even if they have bounced around, are frightened and confused and don’t know what they are walking into when they enter your home. There may be truth in the saying; “they are more scared of you than you are of them”.
APTCH Agency Trainer