The Growing Need for Special Needs Professionals Within Fostering
This article really caught my eye, as a foster-parent-turned-adoptive parent who works with children with special needs. It's from the UK, but I would imagine needs to be similar in the United States and other countries, too, especially for the first listed area of need: foster parents for children with disabilities and complex medical needs. The second area is something that speaks to me, too--some day I want to provide a foster home for a young mother and her child.
Below are three main types of requirements that need Special Needs carers:
1) Children with disabilities and complex medical needs.
The sort of help that children with disabilities require are, help with physical disabilities that cause mobility issues, help with Learning Difficulties and social disorders such as those on the Autistic Spectrum and sensory impairments – for example partial hearing or sight. Children with complex health needs often require help with medication and dealing with, for example epilepsy, breathing, eating and other daily functions. We ensure that specialist training is provided specific to the needs of the child and work together with the foster carers to enable the child to reach their potential.
2) Young Parent and Child arrangements
Parent and Child foster placements require specialist foster carers who have the skills, experience and commitment to accommodate parent/s and children in a supportive home setting. These placements offer some distinct advantages including consistent support in a family environment, the opportunity for parents to maintain significant links with their local networks – vital for transitions to independent parenting, and continuity of care for the child if the outcome is separation from the parent.
Specialist carers provide practical parenting skills and support within the boundaries of a family home, enabling emotional support, stability and guidance to parents. Carers selected for these types of placements are rewarded with an enhanced support package including 24-hour telephone support, weekly supervision visits, specialist training and development, and access to professional support groups. We also provide in-house young people workshops to help facilitate their development.