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Don't be put off because he's a teenager

Posted on 23/02/2017 by

When we started to foster we wanted younger children. Despite all the training and discussions we thought we would be better able to care for a young girl as we had three of our own (now grown and flown the nest). And that's what we did. We took on a 7 year old girl who we worked with, loved and cared for 6 months until she had to move on to a specilaist unit. However, in that 6 months we learned so much about how damaged such a young child can be and how draining and frustrating it can be.

We wouldn't say no again to such another young girl, but then we had R placed with us. What a difference. Yes he had all the usual teenage problems, plus the damage of a neglected childhood and lack of stability. He was also a bit of a tearaway with a criminal history, but he was also funny, affectionate and loyal, not only to his birth family, but also to us. Because of his history and challenging behaviours we initially took him on a short term basis, but he stayed with us for over 2 years.

Although we lost count of the number of times he was picked up by the police or excluded from school, he also became part of the family and our extended family welcomed him in too. He developed into a responsible (well nearly) young man, took GCSE's and passed them all and went on to college. To be honest we aren't sure where he is now or what he is doing, but we gained a lot of insight and satisfaction in caring for him. He taught us a lot about fostering and teenagers and he set us up for several more who have been with us since.