Sometimes children who come into care have one or more disabilities. The level of these will impact on the level of care they will require from you. Before you agree to care for a child with a disability, you need to consider:
- the extent of the child’s medical, psychological, educational and social needs
- your family’s ability to be flexible about goals and expectations
- the child’s abilities, potential and personality
- the strengths, resources and personalities of your family members
- how much time you have available and the amount of care time this child might need
- your willingness and commitment to work with a broad range of people who may be providing specialist services to the child.
The child's Case Manager will provide you with information that they have gathered from the child or young person’s parents, previous carers, doctors and other professionals about the child's routines and medications, as well as any specialised equipment and educational needs. If the child is using a disability service, you may need to become involved with the service to learn more about the child’s disability and how you can support them.
It is also important that all management relating to the child’s disability is included in their case plan.
If you would like to speak to someone about disability services in the NT, you can contact the Office of Disability, which aims to make the process of getting support easier for people with a disability and their carers. The Office of Disability can provide information on what help is available, talk with you about what you need and refer you for assessment of your support needs. For more information visit the Office of Disability website or free call 1800 139 656.
The NT.GOV.AU website has more information for parents and carers about caring for children with a disability and siblings of children with a disability.
For more information that can help you to understand and support children with disabilities and special needs visit the following websites:
- Autism NT - Phone: (08) 8948 4424
- Kids Matter website - Information for parents and schools about supporting babies, toddlers and children with additional needs.
- LADS (Learning and Attention Disorders Society) - Support, information and advocacy for people with ADHD and associated conditions, and their families. Phone: (08) 6457 7544
- MyTime - Support groups for anyone caring for a child with a disability or chronic medical condition. Phone: 1800 889 997
- Playgroup Association of the Northern Territory - Support for families to join or develop community playgroups, including playgroups for children with autism and other disabilites.
- Raising Children Network - Information, videos, resources and parenting forums to support parents and carers in the day-to-day work of raising children and looking after their own needs. Covers from pregnancy to adolescence, and children with disabilities.
- Siblings Australia - Support for siblings of children with a disability.
You may also be interested in accessing resources from:
- Public libraries
- Toy libraries - toy lending and parent information services to support children's development and learning: