20 May 2020
Fostering a teenager is one of the most rewarding and challenging roles you may ever take on, according to a foster carer who has spoken out about their experiences for Fostering Fortnight.
Foster Care Fortnight runs from 11-24 May to raise the profile of fostering and to recruit more foster carers.
This year the Fostering and Adoption team are encouraging more Islanders to consider fostering teenagers to help change a future.
Children’s Minister Senator Sam Mézec said: "The unconditional love and care shown to children by their foster carers is extrodinary. I would like to pay tribute to all the foster carers who work tirelessly with foster children’s birth families to maintain positive relationshops.
"We need more carers so we can provide family placements for children and young people on Island
"We require foster carers for all age groups, but teenagers are one of the groups that particularly require support, specifically from the ages of 12 to 17 years old, so if you think you’d be a suitable carer, please do consider it.
"Looking after teenagers under any other circumstance, can come with its own challenges, but these are usually more than outweighed by the benefits—both to the teenager and to the foster carer."
A foster carer has shared their experience of fostering a teenager through an anonymous case study, below, to protect the identities of both the teenager and foster carer.
"I was drawn to fostering teenagers more than any other age group as I myself had a very timorous teenage years.
"I offer respite care to provide support to the birth family, which is wonderful. I do this with support from the Children’s Service.
"I come from a completely non-judgemental stance to the teenager and to the birth family and I try to support them as much as I can.
"Lockdown has been difficult for most teenagers and there have been more challenging times when boundaries were not kept to. But we got through it and have the most special relationship where we are completely open and transparent with each other.
"I would love to say that fostering a teenager has been a selfless act, but the reality is I have gained so much joy and happiness out of this experience too.
"I have watched my teenager reach different personal milestones with pride and joy and every little win she gets, I feel the joy and satisfaction from this too.
"I know my teenager will soon grow into independence but my support and love to them and the family will be forever.
"To know you really have a invested interest of genuinely caring how their future turns out has been so fulfilling.
"This has been one of the most rewarding and at time challenging experiences I have ever done.
"When we find a solution to a problem together, I know I am helping to build problem solving skills that will be enabled for life.
"Ultimately my role is to support the family being together and that makes me happy that I can help a family stay together."
If you believe you have what it takes to foster a young person in our community, please call our duty line 01534 443970.
Or visit the website for more information.