Why it’s worth considering adopting teenagers

Every year, approximately 85,000 children and young people find themselves in the UK’s care system. The majority of them are placed with foster families, while some may return to their biological families, live with relatives, be adopted, or transition into independent adult life.

Regrettably, fostering services, including Little Acorns Fostering, are facing challenges in recruiting foster carers for teenagers in the care system. Many prospective foster carers prefer younger children, but recent changes in adoption laws have made it faster to place younger children in adoptive homes. There’s a common misconception that teenagers are more challenging to care for than younger children. While this may occasionally be the case, teenagers can often be easier to look after as they are already partially independent and don’t require constant attention. What they need is understanding and support during their adolescent years. They have their own lives and friendships, which can provide foster carers with more natural breaks from caregiving demands. It’s unfortunate that teenagers sometimes receive negative stereotypes. They need the same love and care all children deserve, and they are not the antisocial individuals people often assume them to be.

Here are some reasons why you should consider fostering a teenager:

  1. They Need Your Help: Adolescence can be a challenging period for anyone, including those in care. Foster carers can have a significant impact on teenagers, helping them make crucial decisions about their education, exams, and life goals. Foster carers can take pride in watching older foster children achieve their aspirations. Sometimes, simply removing them from a difficult family situation can be enough to help them excel. We have many foster carers you can talk to about their positive experiences fostering older children.
  2. They Are More Independent: Most teenagers already have some life experience and won’t rely on their foster carers as much as younger children. While younger children may have experienced less in life, it’s important to remember that not all teenagers are the same. Many in care have had fulfilling childhoods and are pursuing education or employment. Teenagers often interact well with younger children, taking on a nurturing and mentoring role. Local authorities tend to avoid placing children of the same age as your biological children to prevent conflicts. Teenagers are not as challenging as commonly believed, and they are in high demand for foster care placements.
  3. The Ideal Placement for You: If you’re considering becoming a foster carer, consider whether a teenage placement might be suitable for you. The rewards are immeasurable, as you’ll become a vital figure in their lives, offering guidance and support during challenging times.
  4. You’ll Receive Support: Little Acorns Fostering provides carer support, training, and a 24-hour support line. Our foster carer training covers various topics and takes place bi-monthly, aiming to enhance your skills and confidence as a foster carer. You’ll never be alone in this journey, as we’ll be with you every step of the way, ensuring you have the necessary support to care for a young person in the care system.
Alex O’Neil

I am a blogger based in the UK. I work as an SEO specialist and Web Designer, and my hobbies include making small films and writing music.