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Fostering teenagers - Sylvia's insights

Sylvia And Denis Photo

After raising four of their own son's Sylvia and Denis decided six years ago to continue taking care of young people and currently foster a teenager who they say 'It is a joy to have him in our home' read the full story here. 


My husband and I have four adult sons, and we have both thoroughly enjoyed raising them to adulthood and love our family life.

My work has always been focused on helping people. Before fostering I had worked for a Church Charity similar to foodbank, but not only was food given out but also clothes and furniture. We worked with the vulnerable and people who came from chaotic backgrounds and had no family support. I also worked for a homeless charity where we were seeing lots of young people who had been either in residential care or with foster families or where their own families were not that supportive. They were as young as 18 or 19, and we were trying to positively change their lives.

We decided to become foster carers just over six years ago, and one of the reasons was I read a book, “Home for Good”, which highlighted many stories of fostering and adoption.


We went through our Form F process and got approved in Jan 2018, and a week later, our little sibling group arrived: a 7-year-old boy and his 2-year-old sister. Since then, things have changed and moved on, and we have said a few goodbyes, including our Parent and child who was with us. This part of fostering is hard: seeing someone leave your home and hoping things work out for them. However, when the move is positive, it can be a comfort.


At present, we have a 15-year-old teenage boy living with us. He will be with us until he is 18 and can stay longer on a "Staying Put" arrangement if he wishes. This is his 4th home since he left living with his family, so issues of trust and stability have to be earned slowly.

He is very active and loves having things to look forward to. He certainly keeps us young with his music and teenage style of communicating.

I forgot how untidy a teenage boy's room can be, too!! The adolescent years have their own difficulties of peer pressure and lack of self-esteem and confidence. Today, we have the added pressure of social media, which can be positive but also brings with it the risks and pressures from others to fit in.

It is a joy to have him in our home and see him gain confidence, make decisions about his future education, make friends, and join in sports activities and youth club events.

Young people's mental health seems to be at an all-time low in these current times, and again, with the circumstances of not living with their birth family and any early childhood trauma, navigating the teenage years is far from easy for our young people.


Head to Sylvia's insight's part 2 to read all about, support they receive, how they enjoy down-time, advocating and how they offer a therapeutic approach to their young person  - Therapeutic parenting skills come to the fore - Sylvia's insights | Nexus Fostering 


Fostering stories


  • Foster Carer
  • Teenager
  • Therapeutic
  • Young person
  • Advice
  • Support
  • Long-term fostering

Date published

06 February 2024

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