Foster care for children with disabilities involves caring for a child with additional needs, either full-time or part-time, for at least two years.
The children are usually aged between two and sixteen and are affected by a wide range of disabilities. Some have difficulty with communication and can show some challenging behaviour. Others may have a physical or learning disability, hearing or visual impairments. Most children live with their families.
What the children need
Caring for a child with disabilities can put extra pressure on families. Regular planned breaks provided by trusted carers can make all the difference, allowing everyone to ‘recharge their batteries’. This is usually one weekend a month. The children need activities that help them build up their self esteem and give them fun and stimulation. Some children will depend on carers for their physical care. They all need a high level of supervision and care which enables them to reach their full potential.
Some children have very complex medical needs or behavioural difficulties and their families require substantial support. Other children are unable to live at home and need full time care. A few of the children may have experienced abuse or neglect. These children need carers who can understand their individual needs and offer them commitment, consistency and patience. They need a carer who can meet the special challenges that caring for a child with disabilities brings.
In addition to the general qualities and experience needed for carers, you must have an understanding of disability. Carers are given regular support and training in relation to the specific needs of children placed with them.
We particularly welcome carers who live in bungalows or other accommodation suitable for wheelchair access.
Pen portraits are profiles of children who need foster care. They are created to give potential foster carers some background about the child they may foster. Find out more about one of our special children with disabilities.