ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a condition which affects an individual’s behaviour. The condition is thought to affect about 1 in 20 children in the UK, and although the actual cause of ADHD is unknown, we do know that it has been shown to run in families. Certain young people with ADHD, will suffer from additional problems, for example anxiety and lack of sleep. The majority of cases are diagnosed between the ages of 6 to 12 years old, while symptoms of ADHD tend to improve with age, some adults will continue to experience problems throughout their life. Even though there is no cure for the condition, ADHD can be managed effectively.
Supporting a foster child with ADHD is something that is becoming more common. Around one in three people diagnosed with ADHD as a child, will eventually grow out of the condition (Young Minds). Supporting a foster child with ADHD is no different to supporting any other child with an ADHD diagnosis. It is likely that as a foster carer of a looked after child with ADHD, you will be working closely with a team of professionals. At DMR Fostering Services, it’s really important to us that all of our foster carers feel supported and never on their own. For this reason it is likely you will be working closely with a team of professionals in order to support the foster child with ADHD. There are many different interventions and approaches that seek to support a foster child with ADHD, with each being used to meet the child’s unique and individual needs. In general however, these below are a great way to help support a foster child with ADHD:
- When fostering a child with ADHD, make it a whole-family issue. It’s important that all members of the family understand the condition and normalise it within the home.
- Try and keep a balance of attention in the family.
- Ensure your foster child lives a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet. Regular activities and structured routines can also help support a foster child with ADHD.
- Make use of the resources around you and any training that is offered. The better your own understanding of the condition is, the better you can help support the child and develop your own professional skills as a foster carer.
- Don’t be afraid to express concerns with other professionals. Working collaboratively is key to supporting a foster child with ADHD.
Fostering alone is an extremely rewarding career in itself, but fostering a child with additional needs and supporting them through a difficult time in their life, makes the rewarding element that whole lot more special. You will be the person they admire and look up to, and by supporting them to understand their own specific requirements, you will be playing a key role in their development and future positive outcomes. The young person within your care is likely to thrive from the love and support you can offer them, replacing their previous vulnerabilities with devotion and kindness. Fostering a child with ADHD may just be the most rewarding thing you ever do.
DMR Fostering Services is a West Midlands fostering agency, and part of DMR Services. We’ve been supporting some of our communities’ most vulnerable children for over eighteen years. If you’re interested in fostering, or would like to learn more about how you could become a foster carer, why not request a free information pack or call our team on 0121 352 1844. If you are already an approved foster carer and are interested in transferring to us, click here.