If you’re considering fostering but you have a disability, don’t let this put you off – fostering with a disability is certainly possible. That’s why we’ve put together this guide with tips for foster parents with a disability from interview with visually impaired carer, Marcus. Learn how to become a foster carer with a disability, and realistically how much this will impact your foster care career.
One of our Midlands carers, Marcus Pinnock, has shared his fostering story with us in order to provide advice and tips on fostering with a disability for other potential carers.
Marcus retired from his position in Sales at the age of 50 due a visual impairment diagnosis, Retinitis Pigmentosa, in 2006. “I began to explore my options as I knew I wanted to do more with my time and still felt like I could give back to the community, despite my condition. My sister was a foster carer and adoption was something that had been done in my extended family. I wanted to find out whether this was something I could also do.”
Marcus found fostering as an option – and began his assessment process with his partner Debbie which lasted 6 months. Regarding having a disability and considering fostering as a career, Marcus said:
“I considered whether my condition would make a difference to whether I could foster or not. However, I realised that if I had had my own young birth children at home, I would have naturally have had to adapt to provide care for them – so why not apply the same principle to taking care of children and young people who are in need of a loving and caring home.”
Marcus explained that there are some elements of his visual impairment which make fostering more difficult, such as being careful with toys being on the floor and ensuring that he uses public transport and taxis to attend meetings and health appointments. “You have to learn to adapt, and Debbie and I are more than able to provide for a child – regardless of a disability.”
Marcus and his partner Debbie began their fostering journey in March 2017 so have been fostering with Capstone Foster Care for over 3 years – having multiple foster placements during that time including short term fostering, emergency fostering, long term fostering and respite foster care.
“We are motivated to encourage our little boy that we care for to try and experience new things and since being with us, he has been to the beach for the first time, been to Go Ape, and visited The Cotswolds as well as other destinations on holiday. He is developing positive relationships, enjoying school and the time together that they have with wider family members.
I am over the moon with fostering and my only regret is that I didn’t start my fostering journey 5 or 6 years earlier. Even if I was not visually impaired, this is still the most rewarding job I have ever done.”
If you are wondering if you can foster if you’re disabled, our informative guide on both fostering with a disability, and fostering a child with a disability, has you covered. If you want to speak to one of our experts to gain more advice about disability fostering, get in touch today.