Fostering is a huge responsibility, considering that any child that you wish to foster will need special care. A majority of these children come from troubled backgrounds, which is the reason that behavioral issues and learning disabilities are common in them. The true challenge, however, comes if you decide that you will foster a child with special needs.
Special needs indicate physical, emotional, mental or developmental challenges in children. The more complex their condition, the greater are the difficulties you may come across. Yet, fostering such a child can be immensely rewarding and satisfying because it is an opportunity to contribute towards the greater good of the community and society. If you do plan to explore this arrangement, here are a few facts that you must know.
Know your limitations
The needs of a special child will be much more than those of a normal child and you may have to invest much more physical, emotional and financial efforts for raising them. It is best to be aware of your limitations and resource constraints before you move ahead with the arrangement. Knowing these limitations will help you to address them as well.
Be fully prepared and committed
Before you enter into a fostering arrangement for a special child, think time and again to make a committed and conscious decision. Do it only if you are sure that you will not back out irrespective of the challenges that you may come across during the parenting journey. Undying conviction and commitment are essential for this life-changing decision.
Seek adequate support
Being realistic, you will probably not be able to look after the special child all alone. It is best to seek support from the agency and the community. Lisa Witter from PerpetualFostering.co.uk says that foster agencies are better for placing foster children that have special needs. Further, you can also ask your family, friends, colleagues and local voluntary organizations for help as well.
Understand the challenges
Depending on the issues that the child faces, there will be several challenges that you may encounter on a day-to-day basis. Do some research on their condition and talk to experts to know what they suffer from and the kind of symptoms that you can expect. Also, seek guidance about how you can address these concerns and help the child to deal with them.
Learn to take failure in a stride
Parenting a special child is easier said than done, whether he or she is your biological offspring or a foster child. Expecting too much from yourself will only increase your struggle because after all, you are a human being. You may make mistakes as a parent and learn from them too. The best approach would be to take failure in a stride and move ahead while making efforts to give the best upbringing to the child.
When it comes to caring for special children, patience is the key. Every single day will bring new challenges but remember that you can still overcome them with unconditional love and complete commitment.