Specialized Family Care Program Helps Children with Disabilities Find Loving Foster Homes

Program trains families to care for special kids



Apr 11, 2001, 01:00 ET from Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital for Rehabilitation

    CLEVELAND, April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Being part of a foster family -- as
 thousands of children in Northeast Ohio are -- is difficult enough. But when a
 child is also faced with a chronic illness or developmental disability,
 finding a family to provide a nurturing home and knowledgeable care can
 sometimes be next to impossible.
     The Specialized Family Care Program (SFCP) at the Cleveland Clinic
 Children's Hospital for Rehabilitation has been the solution to this problem
 for hundreds of area children. The SFCP trains foster parents to care for
 those from birth to age 18 who have complex medical conditions, chronic
 illnesses and/or developmental disabilities. These children, who cannot be
 cared for by their birth families, suffer from a variety of disorders,
 including birth defects, respiratory and orthopedic problems, head injuries,
 burns or other conditions.
     "Our philosophy is that children grow best in families," said Loretta
 Geyer, LISW, home study specialist for the SFCP. "Children with complex
 medical conditions have the same needs as other children. They want to be
 loved and cared for, to play and explore their world, and to reach their
 fullest potential."
     Seven-year-old Raymil is an excellent example of how the SFCP can change a
 young life. Raymil was born with multiple medical problems, including cerebral
 palsy and severe respiratory difficulties. He spent the first 17 months of his
 life in various hospitals with a number of different caregivers. Raymil's
 birth family was unable to care for him, so he was placed in the SFCP foster
 home of Jerome and Edna Norton of Ravenna. The Nortons eventually adopted
 Raymil, who now attends school full-time and is, by all accounts, a happy,
 well-adjusted little boy.
     The SFCP staff works with interested families who live in the seven-county
 area around Cleveland, guiding them through the extensive process of becoming
 licensed foster caregivers and offering support even when training is
 finished. The program also provides support groups as well as pediatric nurses
 and social workers to render 24-hour service to foster families. Program staff
 members make regular visits to foster homes to assess a child's progress and
 ongoing care needs.
     The Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital for Rehabilitation is the
 region's premier provider of comprehensive pediatric, medical and
 rehabilitative services for children with chronic illnesses and disabilities
 (including those caused by trauma, birth defects, brain and spinal cord
 injury, and respiratory, orthopedic, neuromuscular and developmental
 disorders). Formerly known as Health Hill Hospital, the 52-bed, non-profit
 facility is a member of the Cleveland Clinic Health System. The institution is
 a two-time recipient of the prestigious "Accreditation with Commendation" from
 the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
 
 

SOURCE Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital for Rehabilitation
    CLEVELAND, April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Being part of a foster family -- as
 thousands of children in Northeast Ohio are -- is difficult enough. But when a
 child is also faced with a chronic illness or developmental disability,
 finding a family to provide a nurturing home and knowledgeable care can
 sometimes be next to impossible.
     The Specialized Family Care Program (SFCP) at the Cleveland Clinic
 Children's Hospital for Rehabilitation has been the solution to this problem
 for hundreds of area children. The SFCP trains foster parents to care for
 those from birth to age 18 who have complex medical conditions, chronic
 illnesses and/or developmental disabilities. These children, who cannot be
 cared for by their birth families, suffer from a variety of disorders,
 including birth defects, respiratory and orthopedic problems, head injuries,
 burns or other conditions.
     "Our philosophy is that children grow best in families," said Loretta
 Geyer, LISW, home study specialist for the SFCP. "Children with complex
 medical conditions have the same needs as other children. They want to be
 loved and cared for, to play and explore their world, and to reach their
 fullest potential."
     Seven-year-old Raymil is an excellent example of how the SFCP can change a
 young life. Raymil was born with multiple medical problems, including cerebral
 palsy and severe respiratory difficulties. He spent the first 17 months of his
 life in various hospitals with a number of different caregivers. Raymil's
 birth family was unable to care for him, so he was placed in the SFCP foster
 home of Jerome and Edna Norton of Ravenna. The Nortons eventually adopted
 Raymil, who now attends school full-time and is, by all accounts, a happy,
 well-adjusted little boy.
     The SFCP staff works with interested families who live in the seven-county
 area around Cleveland, guiding them through the extensive process of becoming
 licensed foster caregivers and offering support even when training is
 finished. The program also provides support groups as well as pediatric nurses
 and social workers to render 24-hour service to foster families. Program staff
 members make regular visits to foster homes to assess a child's progress and
 ongoing care needs.
     The Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital for Rehabilitation is the
 region's premier provider of comprehensive pediatric, medical and
 rehabilitative services for children with chronic illnesses and disabilities
 (including those caused by trauma, birth defects, brain and spinal cord
 injury, and respiratory, orthopedic, neuromuscular and developmental
 disorders). Formerly known as Health Hill Hospital, the 52-bed, non-profit
 facility is a member of the Cleveland Clinic Health System. The institution is
 a two-time recipient of the prestigious "Accreditation with Commendation" from
 the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
 
 SOURCE  Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital for Rehabilitation