Children in need of foster care arrive with different needs, something that is true when fostering a child with disabilities. It takes a special kind of love and commitment to foster a child who has specific needs. Is this a quality you have?
Disabilities come in many different form and severity. From autism to hyperactivity, to medical conditions and physical disabilities, there are children in need of a loving foster home who can cater to their specific needs.
Children with physical disabilities, learning needs or emotional issues need a ‘special’ kind of home, with foster carers who have the ability and the right outlook to foster a child with disabilities.
There is no denying that being a foster carer to any child takes care and attention, but for some disabled children, their need for care and attention is a lot greater. As a foster carer, you may also need to be prepared to deal with medication, specific care routines as well as manage within the confines of your home.
Foster carers who look after physically disabled children may have a bedroom and bathroom on the ground floor of their home. You may also need to operate specialist lifting equipment and cater for specific diets and so on.
In other words, the demands on a foster carer who looks after a child with disabilities are far greater. But not insurmountable as foster carers across the country will testify.
A positive outlook
Anyone who fosters needs a positive outlook, be enthusiastic and passionate about making a difference in a child’s life so that they can reach their full potential.
If you are interested in fostering a child with disabilities, you will need to not only have this same positive outlook but also be willing to undergo specific training. In some cases, foster carers will learn specific medical skills too or may learn sign language, for example.
Training and support
As a fostering agency, Fostering People is well-known for the comprehensive package of training and support it offers its foster carers, in particular, foster carers who look after children with disabilities.
This is because the pressures on foster carers with disabled children face increased pressures and demands on a day to day basis.
Frequent respite breaks, for example, are important for foster carers of disabled children. A team approach is important so that there is continuity of care too.
And there are other strands of support too, such as:
Activity programmes to help your foster child reach their full potential.
Specialist therapists including occupational therapy support, counsellors and similar professionals who can help you care for your foster child in a way that supports and nurtures them
Education support is essential for helping you to support your foster child in their educational journey. Some foster children with disabilities attend special educational facilities, and this too is something that you can be supported with
Playgroups and youth services are also an important support structure for both you and your foster child. Socialising can be hard for a child with disabilities, and these groups are an ideal means of learning important social skills
Fostering a child with disabilities is rewarding but it is not without its challenges. However, with a positive outlook, fantastic training and a scaffold of support in place with the placing foster agency, foster carers successful provide a nurturing home for their foster children.
Fostering People is an established fostering agency who are well-known for supporting all of its foster carers in caring for looked after children. They are currently recruiting – could you offer a home to a child with disabilities?