More than 65,000 children live with foster families in the UK each day. Each of those families provides a fostered child or group of children with a loving stable home which will help them to learn and grow and increase their chances of successfully transitioning into adulthood.
Across the UK, every 20 minutes a child or young person comes into care needing a foster family. Many of them have had a very difficult start in life and for some this is compounded by having special educational needs. One of the greatest challenges facing this particular group with additional needs is recruiting more foster carers with the skills and experience to help positively transform their lives.
At Alpha Plus Fostering we work with families who care for children with special educational needs, offering training and support to help them provide the best environment for young people. We want to be able to give these children the very best possible home environment to help them to thrive and be happy.
One of our carers Theresa specialises in helping children with additional needs and specifically autistic children who need specialist care at every stage of their development.
Here is Theresa’s story
Having fostered for eight years, Theresa Owen has provided a safe home for several young people. Theresa currently looks after two autistic children, a brother and sister aged seven and five, and they have made remarkable progress in her care.
After caring for her niece, who has special needs, from a young age, Theresa requested that she be considered as a carer for children with learning disabilities by Alpha Plus. The two siblings were the first autistic children Theresa has cared for and acquiring the skills to take care of them has been challenging and rewarding experience.
“It is so fulfilling to see them overcome challenges. Their smiles and delight when they do something new is amazing – if gets me emotional”, Theresa says, adding “Alpha Plus have been amazing; you can contact them at any time on their 24 hour hotline and their team will do anything to help. I requested specialist training when I put myself forward as a carer for autistic children and they were happy to provide it.”
Theresa is doing an incredible job with the children in her care; they continue to make huge amounts of progress, they are settled in school, are communicating at a higher level that was ever believed possible and their laughter fills whichever room they are in. Theresa was recently awarded one of our Every Day Heroes award for the incredible commitment she has shown to these two children. She is a credit to Alpha Plus!
If you want to find out more about fostering children with additional needs then call Nicky for an informal chat on Freephone 08082849211