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Pros and Cons of Fostering a Teenager

Conclusive Pros and Cons of Fostering a Teenager

Teenage hood is a stage of awareness. At this stage, parenting a child is challenging even for a biological parent. Majority of children at this stage want to be alone and prefer doing things privately. Even with these challenges, parenting them comes with a gratifying experience. Where there is an uphill, there is a downhill which makes many love foster parenting teenagers. As a result, there are pros and cons of fostering a teenager.

In brief, what actually are the pros and cons of fostering a teenager? Well, there are many pros to fostering a teenager, such as providing them with an opportunity to build relationships, learn new skills, and develop morals and values. Fostering teenagers also allows foster parents to have a direct impact on the teen’s development and can provide a sense of purpose and meaning in life. While fostering a teenager can be very rewarding, there are also some cons. For example, teenagers can be challenging and can require a lot of patience and effort from foster parents. Additionally, fostering a teenager can be time-consuming and require a lot of financial resources.

Pros and Cons of Fostering a Teenager

Since the pros and cons of fostering a teenager cannot be discussed in just one paragraph, they will be discussed separately for convenience. Understanding the pros and cons enables you as a foster parent to be aware of what you are getting into.

Pros of Fostering a Teenager

Fostering a teenager has multiple pros. As adolescents, they are going through a lot of changes, and a caring adult can help them work through these challenges. Just like children, they are growing and learning new things on a daily basis. Hence they require the necessary support and attention.

  • Fostering provides teenagers with a stable and supportive environment in which they can explore their interests and develop new skills.
  • Having a caring adult in a teen’s life means a lot. They can get mature advice and have someone to get guidance from. As a result, they may feel more connected and supported, which can lead to better mental and emotional health. If a teenager has a positive relationship with their foster parents there is a high probability of him or her developing healthy self-esteem and making better decisions.
  • Teenage hood is in a unique stage of development and growth. During this stage, a sense of support and connection is crucial. By fostering a teenager, these two are provided during this time when they cannot get them from their biological parents.
  • Teens are often impressionable and open to new ideas and experiences. Fostering a teenager can help them develop a sense of self-awareness and independence.
  • People get to know their place in the world when they are teenagers. By fostering a teenager, you assist someone to find their place in the world and learn about their own identity.
  • Teenage hood is the prime stage for struggles. Remember at this stage the mind is still growing and a teen experiences new things. These are completely new experiences that can change the teenager if not given attention. By fostering a teen, you assist them in their struggle with various personal issues. You get to save them from what could have been their life barriers.

Pros and Cons of Fostering a Teenager


  • Teens are often in a stage of experimentation and exploration. Fostering a teenager can provide an opportunity to support and encourage their development while providing a safe space for them to experiment and explore.
  • Home environments do have an impact on a child’s success. For a child to be successful and have a healthy adult life, attention should be paid to the home environment to ensure it has a positive impact. Getting teens into the foster care system provides them with a stable home environment. Due to this, they are more likely to have successful adult lives. This is when compared with the life they would have if they continued living with their biological parents.
  • By fostering a teenager, the positive social and emotional development of the teenager is fostered.
  • Children understand boundaries when they are set and communicated to them. By fostering a teenager, you assist them in understanding why boundaries are set and enforced.
  • Emotional intelligence is best understood when taught. Majority of foster parents are well conversant with the concept of EI and they can easily guide a person through it. When fostering a teen, they have the opportunity to learn about emotional intelligence and learn how to manage their own emotions.
  • Even with a majority of people arguing that a person can make responsible decisions on his or her own, apparently, it’s not that true. Children are not born with an understanding of responsibility. They know their parents will provide for them. It’s at a much later stage of life – teenage hood when they understand what actually “responsibility” is. Hence, fostering teenagers helps them to learn to make responsible decisions.
  • Some teens leave their homes before they get to know how to take care of themselves. When taken under the foster care system, such teenagers get an opportunity to learn how to take care of themselves.

Pros and Cons of Fostering a Teenager

  • Communication is part of human life that is impossible to live without. Children, toddlers, understand communication by observing how other people do it. For teenagers, it’s different. They have to be taught. This process cannot take place in an environment that is toxic for a teen. Therefore, creating a conducive environment in the foster care home makes it possible. Hence through fostering teenagers, they get to learn how to communicate effectively.
  • Fostering teenagers helps them to learn how to solve problems. Under the care and guidance of a foster parent, teenagers get to better understand the concept of problem-solving.
  • Fostering teenagers helps them to learn how to work cooperatively. This is because they are no longer in a toxic home where the term “cooperation” does not exist. In the foster care home, they get to do things with other members of the family hence learning to work cooperatively.

Read About: What Makes a Good Foster Parent

  • While in their birth parents’ care, developing a sense of self-worth is impossible due to the kind of experiences and quality of life children have. Taking them into the foster care system changes this and helps them to develop a sense of self-worth.

 Cons of Fostering a Teenager

Fostering teenagers does have some downsides. These cons vary from one teen to the other hence they are not universal. Some of the most common ones are that they are difficult to discipline, they are often rebellious, and they are difficult to handle when they are angry or upset.

  • Fostering a teenager often requires a lot of patience and a lot of effort. It is not always easy to deal with them when they are acting out or when they are not following the rules.
  • Fostering a teenager can be expensive. It is often necessary to buy them new clothes, new furniture and sometimes new toys if they are into it.
  • Fostering a teenager can also be emotionally draining (emotionally taxing). It can be difficult to deal with their emotions, and it can be difficult to track down their parents when they are not following the rules. Due to this, it becomes solely your problem and you will have no other way out other than DIY.
  • Fostering a teenager can be dangerous. They are often unpredictable, and they can be dangerous when they are angry or upset. Unlike teenagers who have a hint of what they are capable of, a foster teen you do not have hence being highly unpredictable and dangerous.
  • Another con of fostering teenagers is that teens are often unruly and difficult to control since they do not like to be pushed around. This is a grown-up “under the making” and controlling them is difficult.
  • Foster teens might not appreciate the sacrifices made by you as a foster parent. Although some may, others will not appreciate or even note the sacrifice you are making in taking care of them. You may never hear the word “Thank You” come out of their mouth.

Get To Know: Why Foster Parents Quit

  • For many teens, teenage hood is the time or age of exploring sexuality. Due to this, they might not want to be supervised or have anyone watching their back. Especially if it’s their foster parents. They are difficult to supervise.
  • Even though fostering teens helps them in learning how to work cooperatively, they may be rebellious and uncooperative at times. This is in the nature of a teen hence you should not be surprised.
  • Teenagers are young adults, not adults. There are things that they can be able to do and others they cannot do. They may not have the same level of maturity as adults and may not be able to handle the responsibilities of adulthood.

Pros and Cons of Fostering a Teenager

  • Teens have raging hormones hence they may act immature and reckless. In most cases, they act unintentionally since they are controlled by the hormones hence there is little they can do.
  • Teenage is a prime age. While exploring their sexuality or other things, a teen may become pregnant or get into trouble with the law. As their foster parent, you will have a part to play in ensuring that they are safe and you have provided any necessary information. It might be challenging to make this possible.
  • There is a lot of work involved in fostering a teenager when compared to fostering a child under the age of 10.
  • Another con of fostering a teen is that adolescents can be difficult to handle and can be demanding. This is not just emotional, but also spiritual and mental.
  • Boundaries are effectively set when a child is young. For a teen, it may be difficult to set boundaries with them.
  • A foster teen may be resistant to authority. This happens mostly because they are used to a different kind of life where no one had the authority. Since they have come to a new home where only the parent has authority, they may be resistant. The best part of the resistance is that it is often for a short period and then it fades.

Pros and Cons of Fostering a Teenager

  • Often, teens are uninterested in school. Do not expect a foster teen to be any different. Just be aware that they may be uninterested in school or their studies. This would call having a plan on how to get a teen to be interested in school or studies.
  • When teens react, it can be difficult to calm them down since they have a lot of energy. Hence, if they easily overpower you.
  • Teens may be prone to mood swings and impulsiveness. Therefore when fostering one, it’s crucial to keep this in mind.
  • Whether a teen is under foster care or with their birth parents, psychically disciplining them might be difficult. The best thing you can do is to talk to them in a friendly tone and let them know what they have done wrong. Also, inform them that you wish them to change their conduct (behavior).
  • People of the same age group get along together very well. In general, it may be difficult for teens to get along with other adults.
  • Among the pros of fostering teenagers is that they get to be responsible. At times, they might refuse to be inherent in taking on things such as responsibilities.
  • Another con of fostering teenagers is that they are notoriously difficult to care for, and even the most skilled and experienced foster parents will quickly find themselves overwhelmed.
  • A teenager’s chaotic and often destructive behavior can be difficult to manage, and can often lead to them being removed from the foster home.
  • Foster parents also risk losing custody of their own children if they are unable to provide a stable and supportive environment for the teenager in their care.
  • If they are unable or not exposed to effective communication, it can be difficult to communicate with a foster teen.
  • Almost 90 percent of the places that a teen can hide his/herself are only known to fellow teenagers. It can be difficult to keep track of a teen. They are often going up and down and at time they might go somewhere and fail to communicate.

Pros and Cons of Fostering a Teenager

  • A foster home is a new environment for a child and teens can be difficult to integrate into the new household.
  • There are various signs of a bad parent-child relationship. As a foster parent, there is a risk of developing an unhealthy relationship with a teenager while fostering him/her.
  • Peer pressure is at its highest in teens. Teenagers may become addicted to drugs or alcohol due to peer pressure. Also, they may become promiscuous.
  • It can be difficult to know what is best for a teenager hence making fostering a teen frustrating. Some teens do not open up to their foster parents. Because of this, foster parents are unable to know what they like or what is best for them.

Final Thoughts 

When deciding to foster a teen, you should be aware of the pros and cons of fostering a teenager. It gives you a picture of what to expect. Even though the cons might seem more than the pros, fostering teenagers is a satisfying experience. You get an opportunity to change the life of a young adult, an adolescent, as you get to learn from them. This is more of a win-win situation. This experience cannot be compared to fostering a toddler.


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