Raising a child with disabilities can be challenging. For foster parents, perhaps even more so. It’s why House with No Steps is here to lend a helping hand.
Children can often feel insecure about who they are, and what makes them different. When you have a disability, these feelings can be harder to overcome. That’s why the love and reassurance from people who care most about you means so much.
For Reece, the love and reassurance he needed was yet to come.
When Sarah and Jim came into Reece’s life, Reece had finally found a family—and with them, the safe and stable home he longed for.
Reece has an intellectual disability as well as ADHD. His birth family didn’t know how to support Reece and found his behavior challenging.
As a young boy he was moved from foster family to foster family. Understandably angry, hurt and confused, Reece would often act out on his feelings.
It’s heartbreaking to think that someone who had already dealt with so much had nowhere to truly call home.
That was until Reece met Sarah and Jim. They had a background in disability care, and understood the patience and consistency needed to make a child with a disability feel loved and accepted. In fact, they currently foster three boys with a disability—Reece, Oliver and Wally.
The role that foster carers play in providing a stable, safe and loving home to children with a disability, is remarkable. Foster parents face the added challenges of helping a child to accept their disability, while overcoming feelings of rejection.
Caring for a person with a disability takes time and commitment, and families often need extra support. House with No Steps has flexible respite care and support services that can give families this support, providing expert care for people with disabilities and allowing the parents to take a break.
“It’s hard work when a child comes to live with you at first. They are scared and acting out. The family needs a break sometimes, as do the siblings,” says Jim. For a carer, knowing that the child is in trusted hands makes all the difference.
At House with No Steps, our services depend greatly on the support of our community. With this community support we can provide foster carers with essential support and respite, so they can provide the best care for children with disabilities.
As it turned out, Reece wasn’t the only one finding his place in his new home.
Sarah and Jim live in a regional part of NSW, and keep horses. Not long after Reece arrived, so did a young horse named Rain.
Rain, like Reece, had issues with trust. Her previous owner had hit her, and she was guarded around people. Sarah and Jim saw this as the perfect opportunity for Reece and Rain to bond. They entrusted Reece with the special job of teaching Rain to trust humans once more.
The process of forming a bond with a horse, learning what the horse needs and seeing the formation of trust, taught Reece some valuable lessons about how he too could learn to trust again. He also learnt how important it is to believe in himself.
Sarah explains: “We are so proud to see how far Reece has come. It’s been hard work, but with the support of House with No Steps respite, we got through it. I look back at what Reece was like when he first arrived, and don’t recognise him at all.”
When children with disabilities are given the right support, nurturing and care, they are capable of so much. With the right people supporting them, they can reach their potential.
Today Reece couldn’t be happier: “I love being part of this family, they are my home.”
Sarah and Jim know how difficult it can be for these kids to find their place in the home and to feel safe, especially when their early years have been difficult. They also understand that with time and patience, incredible young adults can be formed.
Sarah and Jim are remarkable people, and they deserve the support our Respite Care gives them.
Today, it’s hard to believe that this mild-mannered, self-confident young man is the same troubled boy who entered the family five years ago. Reece reminds us that many of the challenges of having a disability can be overcome with the right support.