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Do you have what it takes to foster a teenager?

Posted on: 25 June 2020

foster mum and daughterFostering a teenager is one of the most rewarding and challenging roles you may ever take on.

Devon currently needs more foster carers for children aged 11+ across the county, but especially in the Exeter area.

Whilst it can help if you have prior experience of parenting teenagers or working with young people, perhaps as a teacher, youth worker or nurse, this is not essential. 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.

On-going learning and development is an essential part of your role as a foster carer with us. You will receive regular training to help you in your work and enhance your skills, alongside the support and guidance of your own supervising social worker, our placement support team and peer support from experienced carers. We always aim to place teenagers with carers who best suit their individual needs, and our team of staff will discuss this with you in detail.

We are looking for people who can offer teenagers a safe and secure home. Somewhere they can find their feet, build their self-confidence and independence, leading to them learning how to become successful and responsible adults in the future.

There are several useful qualities we are looking for too. These include being able to listen, being patient and caring, and having a good sense of humour!

As a foster carer you will need to provide for the teenager, making sure they’ve got enough clothes, are well fed, healthy and supported with their education. Alongside this you will need to support them emotionally, liaise with social workers, teachers and support contact with their birth family.

Simon, one of our foster carers explains what it’s like to foster teenagers:

‘You have to be there for them no matter what, listen without judgement or prejudice, support through the bad times and share the good times. Seeing them succeed, sometimes the smallest steps are the biggest progress. The hugs are few and far between, however, are like an Olympic medal.’

You can read Simon’s full interview here, and what it’s like for Freya and Lindsay who both look after older teens through our young people’s accommodation service (DYPAS).

If you are interested in finding out more about fostering teenagers, please give us a call or 0345 155 1077 or leave your name and number here and we’ll call you back.