Is Fostering Older Children Really For Me?
Having a giant heart, a broad-minded attitude and the desire to make even the tiniest of improvements to a child’s life is really all you need to begin your financially rewarding and hugely uplifting fostering journey.
Well, what if you just don’t feel ‘ready’ to become a foster carer yet, or you don’t have enough knowledge of how fostering works?
It’s perfectly natural for you to think along these lines, and we regularly meet a lot of fantastic people that are willing to open up their home to share a life with a foster child, but still have a niggle of doubt and uncertainty about the whole thing.
Under the correct supervision and guidance from our dedicated team of social workers, we can quickly turn a willing, yet apprehensive individual into a self-assured foster carer, regardless of their previous experience.
In addition to right the training and support, clear and obvious changes that can be seen within the demeanour of a foster child can be a great confidence booster for any foster parent.
Those families that favour fostering older children tend to see these noticeable changes much sooner than they would within foster younger children.
Although older children are seen to be less dependent on physical adult parenting, they do require a lot more encouragement and stimulation to keep them on the right tracks throughout their teenage years.
So, improvements in school reports and exam results, as well as their general interaction around the home and local community are just few of those unmistakable signs to become aware of.
Older foster children are in need of the right support & understanding
Whether you’ve been brought up in the foster care system or not, teenagers are often busy being teenagers, and we’ve all been in that position in life where the raging hormones are slowly taking over with nobody being able to understand just how we feel.
Therefore, it’s critical that older foster children are not only provided with a loving and caring foster family, but also clear direction, consistency and reliability to encourage their transition from unsure teenagers to active and healthy young adults.
As a fostering community, we’re well aware of the need to attract more compassionate and warm-hearted individuals to become foster parents, and this especially true when it comes to fostering older children.
Maybe it’s the whole teenager thing that puts people off, or the thought that older foster children have much more emotional ‘history’ attached to them.
Either way, children of this age do require the right understanding, support and direction to overcome these natural age related issues, as well as the opportunity to learn important practical and emotional skills needed for later life.
How about helping them to make their first cooked breakfast for the rest of the family, or allowing them to manage their own pocket money for the first time? These are just two examples of promoting independence amongst older foster children and to provide them with a suitable taste of adult life.
In fact, we often find that fostering older children can actually be a lot more straightforward than fostering children of a younger age, as the difference that you can make to their life is certainly more obvious and clear to see, due to that extra bit of independence they already have.
At Perpetual Fostering, we know that all foster children require foster families that can listen, understand and provide them with care and security that acts as the perfect stepping stone for success in later life.
Regardless of your fostering experience, we’re here to provide our foster carers with the right advice, information and encouragement, wherever and whenever it is needed. Can you make the difference to a child’s life and become a foster carer? Get in touch with our head office today…You’ll be glad that did.