Fostering children with disabilities

Fostering children with disabilities

What fostering disabled children is like, and what skills and qualities you’ll need to be a good foster carer for them.

You don’t need to have experience of caring for a child with a disability to be a foster carer for them. However, you’ll need to learn about their needs and do your best to meet them.

Disabled children in foster care

Around a quarter of children who need foster care are disabled. They have a range of disabilities, including:

  • learning disabilities
  • mental health conditions
  • autism
  • physical disabilities
  • sensory impairments
  • complex health needs, which means they might need specialist equipment, monitoring, medication or feeding

We’ll work closely with you throughout your placements, and give you all the guidance you’ll need to be a great foster carer for disabled children.

You’ll be able to get regular training before and during placements.

If your home needs any adaptations and equipment, we’ll make sure you get them.

If you’d like to care for disabled children, you can:

What skills you need to foster disabled children

To be a good carer for disabled children you’ll need to:

  • be very patient and understanding, as some children might need a lot of time and attention around things like homework, eating, or getting dressed
  • have a good sense of humour
  • be extra vigilant with safety
  • be good at communicating in lots of different ways
  • be willing to learn new skills, such as sign language
  • be willing to invest time to help them learn life skills, join sports clubs, or go to social events
  • work well with a wide range of specialists, such as behavioural therapists, occupational therapists, or speech and language specialists
  • go to medical appointments with the child or young person in your care

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Disabled children quote

"Many people say they couldn’t look after a disabled child, but…seeing a disabled child develop their independence skills, mobility and self-esteem is amazing."

Ali, foster carer of disabled children for 10 years