Fostering Special Needs Children

The most vulnerable individuals in our foster care system are those with special needs. These children and adults have various disabilities, such as cognitive impairments, developmental disorders, physical disabilities, or some combination of those. They may have Down syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorders, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, or intellectual disabilities. Because of their disabilities, these people require some level of support and care throughout their lives. However, the exact level of care will vary from person to person.

Child with special needs playing in the pool
Little boy with Down Syndrome having fun in the swimming pool with his family.

Fostering Someone With Special Needs

Fostering a special needs child or adult is an immense commitment, and not to be taken on lightly.  For that reason, foster homes for special needs clients are approved through the Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Services Division. Specialized Foster Parents will meet the child or adult requiring services several times before placement is made to ensure that they are compatible and able to provide the necessary care and support.

Caring for a special needs child or adult can feel very lonely. Thus, Oklahoma DDSD offers many services and resources to support those with special needs and the Specialized Foster Parents who care for them. Your DDS area office can help you choose and apply for the right services for you and your special needs foster child. The state offers Community and In-Home Support Waivers, as well as Family Support Assistance, Respite Vouchers, and more. For adults of working age and ability, Sheltered Workshop and Community Integrated Employment programs offer skills training, assessment, job placement, and ongoing support in a working environment.

Learn More About Fostering

With proper care and support, those with special needs can enjoy a high quality of life. Further, they may be able to eventually live independently or in group homes. The role of a Specialized Foster Parent is to give that care and support.

Specialized Foster Parents are very special people who take on the challenge of caring for those who cannot care for themselves. It’s not an easy job, but it is very rewarding. The need for both Specialized and Traditional foster parents in our community is very real. For more information about how you can become a foster parent, start here or contact us today!