How to Prepare for a Foster Child with a Disability

Preparing your home for a foster child takes a lot of preparation. You have to get the bedroom up to spec, make sure there are all the basic essentials, and make everything safe for the age group. If you are a foster carer for children with disabilities and additional needs, there will be extra steps to take as well. So, how do you prepare for a foster child with a disability? Read on to find out. 

Research the Specific Disability Needs

As soon as you have access to the child’s profile, it is time to start reading reliable medical sources about their disability. This will help you make decisions on their behalf that lie within their best interests and communicate with health professionals and social workers during their ongoing medical care. It will also make it easier to establish a connection with the child coming into your home when you show them that you care and understand what they need. It is your job to know what they’re about after all. 

Choosing the Best Vehicle

For disabilities that affect mobility for children under the age of three years old, for example, a wheelchair is needed, a used WAV (wheelchair accessible vehicle) would be a great solution. Go into a specialist branch and talk to one of their mobility advisors to get the best suggestions on what you need and how to get there. 

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Adapt Your House

Your home may need to go through some renovations to get it ready for the child moving in. With mobility issues, in particular, there are often requirements for downstairs facilities in place so the child has open access to what they need whenever they need it. Talk to the social worker organization to discuss what you’d need to do and make a plan for achieving it. Houses like bungalows and ones with downstairs bathrooms are easier to adapt.

Focus on New Routines

Looking after a looked after child in any capacity demands a new way of thinking, feeling, and general living. Your day will be different, but this is what you’ve trained for and got into the mindset of. Caring for additional needs is strenuous from time to time, just like regular parenting. You have to be up for the task! The child will have the added anxiety of moving into a new home on top of dealing with their own stresses about everything else. It will be your main role in the first place to guide them through these feelings. 

Communicate with Education Providers

Introduce yourself at school as a primary contact and make sure the educational special needs plan is up to date and valid. It will be in your and their best interest to stay an active part of this development as things move forward, especially if the placement becomes a long-term thing. 

Caring for a foster child with a disability is an empowering, rewarding role when it’s done right. As a carer, you have to help the child navigate the world and meet any barrier that comes their way with tenacity and resilience. 

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