If you are the kind of foster carer willing to give extra time and effort, as well as cope with the additional physical demands, you might consider specialising in fostering children with complex needs. At Rainbow fostering ,we would like to hear from applicants or foster carers keen to develop the additional skills needed. Foster carers looking after children with disabilities can expect to receive higher rates of pay as well as generous provision off respite care
What are complex needs?
As one of the leading independent fostering agencies, we commit to providing all the support and additional training that will be required. Where necessary, this will include providing specialist equipment plus together with advice about any home adaptations that may be required. We also pay an enhanced fostering allowance that recognises the additional costs that are likely to be involved. if you are caring for a child/young person with complex needs, it is still necessary to take special account of their educational needs. One of the most important tasks for a foster carer is to support the children and young people in care through their education. Children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) will require additional support.
ADHD - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
ADHD is an umbrella term for a group of behavioural symptoms that can include hyperactivity and inattentiveness with impulsive behaviour also being an indicator: the general symptoms are short attention span, constant restlessness and overactivity. It is at school that these problems are usually noticed first because a child with ADHD can be disruptive. ADHD is an umbrella term for a group of behavioural symptoms that can include hyperactivity and inattentiveness with impulsive behaviour also being an indicator: the general symptoms are short attention span, constant restlessness and overactivity. It is at school that these problems are usually noticed first because a child with ADHD can be disruptive. They differ in girls and boys as well as at different ages. If ADHD is suspected, a child will be assessed by a ADHD doctor or psychologist.
Global Developmental Delay (GDD)
The terms ‘global development delay’ or ‘development delay’ are used to describe a situation where child takes longer to reach certain development ‘milestones’ or stages. Such stages might include movement and coordination skills, walking, talking or learning new things - as well as interacting socially. An individual with another condition such as Downs Syndrome or Cerebral Palsy may also sufferer from GDD. For some individuals, the delay in their development can be of a short term nature. Additional support and therapy can help them overcome such a delay. For others, the delay may be more significant. This can mean the need for ongoing support. GDD can also indicate the presence of a learning disability.
Autism and (Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
These are general terms used to describe a group of complex brain development disorders which show up to varying degrees in difficulties with verbal and non verbal communication. Marked repetitive behaviour can be a symptom. The clearest signs of autism tend to become apparent when a child is around the age of two or three years. Autism is regarded as a lifelong developmental disability affecting one in one hundred people. It affects how people communicate and relate to others, as well as the manner in which they experience the world around them. Individuals on the autism spectrum can also experience an under or over sensitivity to touch, tastes, smells, light, colours or even sounds. These are general terms used to describe a group of complex brain development disorders which show up to varying degrees in difficulties with verbal and non verbal communication.
The statistics for asthma are of note. 1.1 million children (1 in 10) children in the UK suffer from asthma and in every UK classroom there are on average 3 children with asthma. It can pose a serious risk – in the UK every nineteen minutes a child is admitted to hospital because of the condition. Pet allergens, cigarette smoke and car fumes are three of the most significant triggers for an attack. There are treatments available if you are fostering babies, children or young people. If a child starts to experience problems breathing and asthma is diagnosed your GP may prescribe an inhaler. This is also known as a reliever which is a medicine that once inhaled provides instant relief. It quickly relaxes the airways making breathing easier. Fostering babies and toddlers with asthma requires a different approach – a nebuliser is used which creates a mist that is easily inhaled.
Asperger syndrome is a form of autism and is often regarded as a ‘hidden disability’. This is because it isn’t always easy to tell from people’s outward manner and appearance that they have Aspergers. As it is a form of autism the same ‘triad of impairments’ are present –
- difficulty with social interaction
- difficulty with social communication
- difficulty with social imagination
The most common cause of spasticity in children and young people is cerebral palsy. This includes various conditions that directly affect muscle control and movement. It is a condition that affects around 1 in 400 children. Where children are born with a brain injury leading to cerebral palsy, spasticity may not necessarily occur at birth. It is possible it may appear over time. Spasticity is the condition where certain muscles are continuously contracted. This can cause stiffness and tightness which can adversely affect normal movement, speech and posture. Cerebral palsy is the most common physical disability seen in childhood. It can be evident in the first twelve to eighteen months of life. It arises as a result of damage caused to the developing brain. In the majority of cases, brain injury resulting in cerebral palsy occurs
There is a disturbing rise in the numbers of children being affected by Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.Type 1 is an autoimmune condition resulting in the destruction of insulin producing beta cells – the result of damage caused by the body’s own immune system. About 90% of people with type 1 do not have a family history of the condition. So far in excess of fifty genes have been identified that can increase an individuals chance of developing Type 1. There is ongoing research into environmental factors that may play a part. As an independent fostering agency, Rainbow keeps abreast of trends that feed through into issues impacting upon children and young people. The statistics raise concerns: roughly 400,000 people in the UK are currently living with Type 1 diabetes and over 29,000 of them are children.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) now views childhood obesity as a serious public health issue on a global scale. In this country, approximately one million school children are monitored by the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP). They look at the height and weight of children.From their research, a disturbing picture of obesity is emerging. The latest figures give rise for concern – especially when it is known obese children and teenagers are at a much greater risk of developing a range of health problems - and remain obese as adults. Their latest figures reveal that for 2014/15 19.1% of Year 6 children 10 – 11 years were obese with a further 14.2% being overweight. 9.1% of Reception children 4 – 5 years were obese and a further 12.8% being overweight. Obesity at an early age can result in complex needs in later life. This is why a healthy balanced diet is so important.