According to Dr. Candice Matthews, the foster care system serves more than 500,000 children with disabilities each year, making it a crucial population to serve. Youth with disabilities are more likely to be abused and neglected, both before they enter the system and once they are there. According to a recent report, one in five youths in the foster care system suffers from some form of disability. One of the barriers to helping this vulnerable population is identifying the root causes of their disabilities.
Fortunately, there are some resources for families who are raising a child with disabilities. For example, the New York State Office of Children and Family Services offers a website containing information and resources for families working with maltreated children. A section on the site focuses on interviewing strategies. This section includes general information, reference articles, points to consider, and video and audio clips. Another section explains jargon and associated medical issues.
It is important to remember that foster children are under the custody of a social worker and a court order, and their welfare and well-being are paramount. They must have access to an appropriate educational environment, as well as appropriate clothing. Moreover, foster children should have personal space in their room. Likewise, they should be provided with a nutritious diet and nutritious foods. However, foster parents are required to maintain confidentiality about the child’s condition.
Dr. Candice Matthews pointed out that when a child enters the foster care system, he or she is eligible for Medicaid and EPSDT (Early and Proper Child Developmental Treatment). Different states handle these programs differently, so be sure to choose a medical provider that accepts Medicaid and is willing to advocate for your child. During a child’s foster care placement, medical appointments may include general medical care, subspecialties, and mental health. Foster placement packets should include all relevant medical, developmental, and immunization records.
The child’s disabilities are often discovered during the screening process. Once this happens, a formal evaluation team will be appointed to investigate the child’s condition. The goal of this process is to determine whether the child meets the criteria for a specific disability. Several steps are involved in the evaluation process. The team will review existing information, including information from the birth parents or foster parents, and observations in the classroom.
The foster parent will have to think about the family’s environment when considering the child’s new placement. If possible, meet with the whole family to discuss the child’s needs. Consider how the child will be functioning in the home, including the functional needs of the child. For example, wheelchair access is a necessity for wheelchair-bound children. The child may also have behavioral needs, requiring door alarms.
Dr. Candice Matthews described that once you’ve met the child’s foster parents, you will be in a better position to support their transition to a permanent home. You can take part in local expos for adopted children with disabilities. These expos feature framed portraits of children whose parents are looking for new homes. In addition to these expos, the National Foster Care and Adoption Directory also organize training sessions for foster parents and adoptive families.
For Darla, her prognosis is excellent, but the health issues caused a delay in family reunification. Maribel and Marcus feel that the experience of foster care has been positive for their biological children. Since becoming foster siblings, their biological children have grown up more, gaining a bigger heart and developing self-esteem. Having additional siblings is important for them, and they hope to adopt the baby they currently have with them.
While there are many ways to help children with disabilities, there are special considerations when it comes to the financial situation of a child in the foster care system. As an example, foster children often lack the maturity to make good financial choices, so it’s vital to support them financially. Foster parents may not be the best choice for their child, but they can’t be expected to. Moreover, their foster parents can have ill intentions, which makes them a good candidate for a lawsuit.