Foster care is a challenge – for all who are involved in it. That’s the foster carer’s themselves – as well as all those involved in service provision. The challenge of recruiting dedicated, committed people is considerable. It takes these qualities to look after a child or young person with a disability. In the last few days we attended the ‘Rise 4 Disability’ Event in Maidstone, Kent. This was a great opportunity to meet many individuals with an interest in all aspects of disability. For the agency, it was an excellent opportunity to build on the work of tackling the myths often linked to fostering someone with a disability. It was also valuable in identifying many of the ‘stakeholders’ in this important sector.
The term disability is a blanket one. It applies to different areas. It can include physical, mental health, cognitive, sensory impairment and neurological issues. Deciding to provide care for a child or young person with a disability – of whichever type – will call for a special kind of commitment. In a fostering placement, permanence is important for all children. Instability adds to the emotional problems faced by youngsters who have already had to face their world being turned upside down. If a child has a disability, they are even more vulnerable. Achieving permanence in a placement becomes a key priority.
The specific kinds of support that are valued by carers of children with disabilities include advocacy, emotional support, help with securing benefits or entitlements and respite care. Social workers with specialist training are available to provide support to carers caring for a disabled person.
Patience is an important quality if you provide care for a child with a disability. A good sense of humour is also necessary. Having understanding is important too. Foster carers will also need to be extra vigilant with safety. Being able to assess risk is important.
Train with Rainbow to foster a disabled child
More carers are needed in the UK. There is a demand for people to foster disabled children. Local authorities are under growing pressure to find safe, secure foster homes for youngsters with a disability. Rainbow provide the specialist training and support for people who want to take up the challenge of fostering a child or young person with a disability. This will also include training in providing therapeutic care.
You can call 020 8427 3355 or 0330 311 2845 (National Line) to find out more. We’ll provide advice and guidance. There’s no obligation. The idea of providing foster care for a disabled child can seem daunting. With our training and around the clock support, fostering can be very rewarding.
Foster care in the news –