Special needs children are foster children who are referred to TLC from county and state social service and adoption agencies throughout California. The terms "foster child" and "special needs child" are, at time, used interchangeably.
Being "special" refers to many categories of children including healthy children, children aged three or older, children of ethnic or minority groups that need families, children with brothers or sisters who should be placed together, and those children with physical, mental, and emotional challenges or who have been drug-exposed. Most of these children have been removed from their birth families due to abuse or neglect.
All children and youth in foster care require speciﬁc considerations from foster parents due to the trauma of separation from their home, family and friends. Separation reactions will vary. Some children withdraw, others act-out at home, school and in the community. All of these children need foster parents to help cope with the hurt, anger and grief the child or youth is experiencing.