Special Needs Fostering
Special Behavioural Needs
Sometimes we have children who require more experienced and resourceful carers who are equipped to give them intensive care and attention.
These will be children who come into foster care presenting particularly challenging behaviour.
Often these children may have suffered severe emotional damage, because of past experiences, making it difficult for them to adapt to normal boundaries and expectations.
Typically, as a special behavioural needs carer, you will already be experienced in child care, through working in education, residential care or youth work etc.
Your experience will have gained you some understanding of how to engage with children who have challenging behaviours. Equally you will have a degree of resilience and the patience to persevere in working with a child where success is gained over a longer period of time.
Children with Disabilities
We also welcome foster carers who are interested in developing the skills, and who have the commitment, to care for a child with a disability.
Children may have a range of disabilities including:
- Physical disabilities (Cerebral palsy, Spina bifida, etc)
- Various forms of autism
- Severe learning difficulties
- Complex health needs (requiring specialist equipment, monitoring, medication or feeding etc)
You don’t need to have experience of working with disability but you do need to be prepared to learn about the needs of children with disabilities and have a commitment to meeting them.
Being that carer who is able to invest the extra time, mental and/or physical effort often required to care for a child with these kinds of challenges, makes you especially sought after. If you feel you are this kind of person then we would love to hear from you.
We will provide you with all of the support and training that you need to give these children the best possible care. This will include the provision of any specialist equipment and the adaptations that may be needed and an enhanced fostering allowance that reflects the extra costs, time and energy that is often involved.
The disabilities support package includes:
- Specialist equipment and other provisions.
- Additional paid respite including an enhanced holiday allowance
- Childcare and enhanced carer support from support workers and supervising social workers respectively.
- Assistance with transportation
- Therapeutic input from a child psychologist
You will have the opportunity to learn new and important skills (e.g. a sign language) and you will have the reward of knowing that you are making a real difference in a disadvantaged child’s life.
Short Breaks / Respite Care: providing opportunities for disabled children and their families
To offer a family a period of time off from the often intensive care of a child who is disabled, we provide Short Breaks and Respite Care.
- Can you offer a few hours or weeks of a changed setting for a disabled child? Can you offer some hours, days or at most a couple of weeks to a parent or carer so that they can have some time off to carry out essential tasks or simply recuperate?
Being available to this child might take one of several forms as a one off or as a regular, agreed arrangement:
- You might be an additional resource to the child to enable activities that might not otherwise be possible, such as a visit to an adventure park or zoo
- Perhaps you can befriend the child and in so doing open up opportunities for them to engage in a range of pursuits that interest them, such as leisure clubs, outdoor sports, after-school or play schemes and other social interests.
- You may be needed to take responsibility, in your own home, for a child during a few hours of the parent’s absence, or possibly overnight, so they can have some time off to rest, receive training or to travel.
- Whilst at your home, a child will increase his or her range of experience and enjoy the stimulation of a different setting.
Whatever the circumstance, you will be fully supported whilst you perform this vital service for disabled children and their families.