Sadly, there are a great number of foster children in need of loving families to be with until reunification can take place. However, some families are reluctant to take in teens who they think may be more difficult to work with. Sometimes it’s because boundaries have not been established with them, and other times it may be because they are more vocal than littler foster children.
Actually, both of those can be good things! If approached right, they can work for you rather than against. One of the ways in which you can get these older children to open up to you and the love you have to offer is by letting them have a say in how their room will be decorated. This is really more important to teens than you may now realise.
Always Begin with the Basics
Unless you are applying to be a long-term foster carer, children are usually placed with you on a timeframe not exceeding 22 to 24 months. This is something you can discuss with the social workers or fosterplus.co.uk if you go the route of a private fostering agency, which many foster carers find to be preferable than local councils. That aside, since most often foster teens will be placed on a temporary basis, the room will probably be inhabited by other children in the not-too-distant future.
Therefore, it is advisable that you simply furnish the room with a bed, a dresser and perhaps a writing or study table. When it comes to foster teens, they will already have notions of how their bedroom should be decorated. Some like posters of their favorite artists on the walls and others like certain color schemes. However, there’s not much to worry about when it comes to paying for these things because you are given an generous fostering allowance that should more than cover any of the little bits of décor a teen should require.
It’s All About the Children
There is a considerable number of benefits to be had when allowing teens, who are by nature highly vocal, to have a say in how they would like their room decorated. You obviously need to monitor the ‘content’ of what they would like to display, but it is possible to reach a happy medium there.
The whole point of getting foster teens involved in their bedroom décor is to make them comfortable after the stress of being removed from their birth family. Whether they had little brothers and sisters who needed a different type of placement or were only children, it’s a traumatic experience nonetheless to be isolated from the family they always knew.
The Benefit of Being at Ease
The most important aspect of letting foster children have some amount of say in how they would like their room decorated for their personal comfort is in that very same level of comfort you are after. Getting teens to open up is most easily achieved if they are comfortable in your presence. Knowing that you care about how they feel goes a long way toward establishing the bond so necessary when being a foster carer. Let them help you decorate their room and see just how quickly this bond is forged!