Journey of Hearts: Balancing Freedom and Boundaries in Fostering Teenagers

Join us on the Journey of Hearts series as Erin shares her insights into the challenges  that come when navigating the balance of freedom and boundaries in fostering teenagers and the upsides that come about when you do find equilibrium.

Welcome back to our Journey of Hearts series, where we explore the myriad experiences our foster carers have in the day to day life of being a foster carer. In today's episode, we're sharing Erin's perspective on the unique challenges and rewards that come with balancing freedom and boundaries in teenagers who may be coming into foster care with little experience of boundaries.

The Challenge of Balancing Freedom and Boundaries

Erin highlights the difficulty of finding the right balance between allowing teenagers their freedom and setting necessary boundaries, especially when they have developmental delays or they've had to deal with neglect in the past.

When somebody just walks in and says, 'Oh, no, you're not allowed to do this', it doesn't make a lot of sense to them when they've had to maybe fend for themselves.

Resistance to New Boundaries

Teenagers in foster care can often be resistant with new boundaries because in certain circumstances before coming into the new home, they may not have had to rely on adults for guidance, sustenance, or protocols like bedtime.

Erin discusses the importance of understanding this resistance and introducing boundaries in a gentle but consistent manner, which can help teenagers in care feel safe and more content and open to learning and accepting advice.

Seeing the Rewards

When teenagers in care start to feel safe due to a more balanced set of rules, schedule and structure, not only do they become more relaxed and open to growth, but they start to feel like they're a part of something — part of a family.

Would you like to be a guiding force of good in a child's life, like Erin? Start your fostering journey by filling out our application form or connect with our team at Origins Foster Care to learn more about the impact you can make.

A portrait photo of Eithne Larkin, a team member at Origins Foster Care smiling and looking at the camera.
Written by:
Eithne LarkinEithne Larkin
August 21, 2023
Get in touch

Reach out for any questions and enquiries. A member of our fostering team will get back to you as soon as possible.

Thinking about fostering?
Make your enquiry today.
Apply now
Contact form
We are always happy to receive your messages.
Contact us
087 052 9749
Social Work Placement Referrals
Tel. 01 9079196 /