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7 Amazing reasons to foster a child with disabilities

Around 7/10 looked-after children have special needs, compared to 2 in 10 of all children.

April 22 2022 - 5 min read

Fostering a child with disabilities or special needs is one of the most rewarding roles you could ever do. Not only do you get to give vulnerable children a safe and loving home when they need it most, but you also play a vital role in helping them grow and reach their full potential.

"Around 7/10 looked-after children have special needs, compared to two in 10 of all children."- The Fostering Network

That’s why we always need people who are patient, open-minded, compassionate and resilient to care for these children and help change their lives for the better.

Fostering a disabled child is incredible because...

  1. You can help them become more independent

    Many children in care with complex needs haven’t had the nurturing guidance of a supportive caregiver. With your help, they can learn how to accomplish everyday tasks that’ll give them more independence and ultimately, more self-confidence.

  2. You can teach them important life skills

    From managing pocket money and household chores to understanding road safety and using public transport, it’s amazing to see children with disabilities thrive in the real world.

  3. You can help them develop meaningful relationships

    Children with learning disabilities or autism spectrum condition (ASC) can struggle to make deep connections with others. Especially if they’ve suffered trauma. However, when they create a special bond with the family dog, their foster sibling or a new school buddy, it’s such a privilege to witness.

  4. They get the chance to make happy memories

    Although not every disabled child in care has come from a traumatic background, many of them will sadly have suffered abuse and medical neglect. As a foster parent, you get to help them make fresh memories so they can look back on their childhood and recall holidays, fun activities and days out.

  5. You can help them reach their true potential

    Love and attention go a long way when it comes to a child’s development. From giving them room to explore their interests to ensuring they receive quality education, foster parents play a huge role in helping children secure a happy, healthy future.

  6. Your birth children can learn empathy

    Fostering a disabled child can teach other children about how empathy. Empathy helps us consider things from someone else’s point of view, leading to more compassion and kindness towards others. This is a great skill for children to have when they meet people from different walks of life.

  7. You can discover new things about yourself

    Fostering a disabled child is an eye-opening experience. You might discover you work better with a routine, you’re more thick-skinned than you originally thought, or that you start to question your priorities and values in life.

Need more information?

Download Disability and Mental Health: A Foster Parent’s Guide to Complex Needs for everything you need to know about caring for a child with physical or learning difficulties.