Adolescents are the hardest group to foster and have high rates of placement breakdown. Elaine Farmer and her colleagues examine what helps to make their placements work. Key issues for this age group are explored, including peer relationships, sexual health and relationships, the impact of the adolescent on the foster family and balancing their need for safety and autonomy. Based on government-commissioned research and part of the Supporting Parents initiative, this book addresses each stage of the care process, from placement selection to leaving foster care. The authors consider which kinds of professional support at which stages make a difference, the foster carer parenting skills that are crucial and how foster carers can draw on professional support to manage adolescents' behaviour, maintain their educational attainments and negotiate ongoing contact with their birth parents. They draw out recommendations for policy and practice in the areas of:how strain on carers can be reducedthe role foster carers' own children play in placement success or breakdownsingle foster carershow to contain the young people who are hardest to fosterkey training requirements for foster carersmanaging contacthow foster carers and social workers respond to gender differences in teenagers. A rich source of recommendations for social workers, policy makers and carers, this book will be invaluable to anyone involved in the fields of child welfare and child protection.
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