Could you give a child the Chance To Thrive?

Published: 23 Sep 2019

CARING people, who have the skills and experience of working with children and young people with additional needs, are being sought as foster carers.

Hertfordshire County Council’s fostering and adoption team has launched the #ChanceToThrive campaign, in a bid to find people who can foster children who have a variety of different needs.

Approximately 70% of looked-after children have some form of additional need, compared to almost 20% of all other children.

Speaking about the rewards gained from fostering a child with additional needs is Hertfordshire foster carer, Sue, who is looking after an eight-month-old baby boy with foetal alcohol syndrome.

She said: “When you’re caring for a child with additional needs they may not meet expected milestones at the same time as a neurotypical child and it can be a lot of work, but when you see the results of the time and care you’ve given to the child the rewards are so great.

“He was born three months premature and it was initially thought he was deaf. The first time he smiled and giggled when we sang and played nursery rhymes to him was just wonderful.”

Sue added: “Establishing a professional working relationship with health services is really important. My health visitor helped smooth the way in getting help for my child when needed."

The Chance To Thrive campaign is particularly appealing to people who already have the experience of caring for children with additional needs, whether it be through previous foster care, their own children or through their jobs.

It is hoped such people will have more realistic expectations of the level of care and attention their foster child will need, giving the child the best possibility to thrive.

Teresa Heritage, Deputy Leader of Hertfordshire County Council and Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families, said: “All children need a Chance to Thrive, and we are very grateful to all our foster parents who already look after children with additional needs.

“We know that fostering a child like this can be challenging but we have also seen how great the rewards are for the carer.

“Someone like a police officer, a nurse, midwife, healthcare professional or probation worker, may already work with children with additional needs, and may feel they can use their experience to help them become a foster carer.

“For anyone interested in applying, we offer support along the way, and truly value all the people who become our foster carers, as do our children.”

Have you ever thought about fostering a baby or child with additional needs? If so, please contact Hertfordshire County Council’s fostering and adoption team on 0800 917 0925, or through social media @HCCFosterAdopt. To find out more, visit