In this heartwarming story, Shivonne Costa, a child therapist, blogger and foster parent, shares her experience of becoming a foster mother to a sibling set of two, who were later diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). She explains how having children who have experienced multiple families and numerous traumas in such a short time is challenging but RAD children need consistency to see that no matter what they do, the same adult is there and is willing to persevere. Read the full story on FosterNation.org.
Learn More About the Challenges of Fostering Children with Mental Health Issues
Choosing to become a foster parent for a child with special needs is a life-changing decision. There is a particular need for foster homes for children with special needs; in fact, more than 40% of children in foster care suffer from emotional or physical disorders, childhood traumas, or a history of abuse or neglect. If you’re considering taking a child into your life, there are many ways you can begin to prepare yourself and your home. By doing your research and preparing yourself ahead of time, you can make a more informed decision, easily navigate the application and assessment process, and be ready to provide a stable, loving and supportive home for your foster child.
For single foster parents caring for multiple children with special needs, there can be challenges and rewards. Raising children with special needs may require additional in-home assistance, ongoing resources or structured schedules to be successful. Some children may have needs which require a full-time at-home parent. Working parents must have some flexibility in their work schedule so that the foster children can be transported to scheduled visitations, appointments, etc., which typically occur during regular working hours. Critical to being a successful foster and/or adoptive parent is understanding the challenges these children have faced and not taking their behavior personally. As a working parent you can develop a plan that includes after-school care and care during school vacations/holidays.