Fostering a Disabled Child (Fostering Trafford Series)
Sue from our Fostering Trafford Forum posed the question of fostering a disabled child. To answer her we asked one of our most experienced foster carers:
There is a shortage of foster carers in the UK. Fact. Many of the children in need of foster care are disabled. Fact.
Against the backdrop of the Equality Act 2010, someone is described as disabled if they have a ‘physical’ or ‘mental’ impairment that is substantial and has a long-term negative impact on their ability to do normal daily activities. For ‘substantial’ read not minor or trivial, and for ‘long-term’, read lasting for more than 12 months.
Fostering a child is a big decision. Some might say that opening your home to a disabled child is an even bigger step. The aim of this article is not to agree or disagree with this perspective, but instead to get you thinking about the diversity of children out there who need help and where you can contribute.
Yes, caring for a disabled child is likely to bring with it a particular set of requirements, depending of course on the nature of their impairment. Using specialised equipment, administering medication and attending hospital visits may become part of your daily routine. Key word, right there, ‘routine’. Daunting at first, but with the right training and support these types of things, things that you thought “you could never do”, simply become part of your daily rhythm in caring for the child.
And central to it all is the child. A child who is not able to live with its own family and needs to be fostered. A child in need of love, attention, stability and routine. Take away the ‘disability label’ and there is just a child. Equipped with the right support, guidance and training, you could make such a difference and help them maximize their full potential…whatever that might be.
Fostering is challenging. Fostering a disabled child will probably add some complexity to the picture, but in turn it is also likely to mean the personal reward and satisfaction you receive is richer, deeper and more enduring.
Want to make that difference? Think you have what it takes? Then talk to us at Lorimer Foster Services. We can chat in confidence and get things moving.
This is one of number of planned articles in the Fostering Trafford series. In this series we’ll attempt to answer some of the questions people from our Trafford Foster Carer Forums have posed and pondered or stories they have told when considering a career a foster care. We hope to also run similar series based on Fostering Liverpool, Fostering Lancashire and Fostering Chester in due course.