SHREVEPORT, LA (KTBS) — KTBS is dedicated to helping local foster children find their forever home this holiday season. This week, we’re featuring Joshua Bennet, 10. He is a loving boy with special needs.
Like most children Joshua likes to watch TV, he is active and he likes going to church, but he mostly enjoys bowling.
Two years ago, Joshua entered foster care and for the past year he has been in the care of Cheryl Myers. She works well with Joshua who struggles with broad spectrum autism.
“Joshua is a lovable child,” Myers said. “I think his special needs makes him that more attractive.”
Everywhere Joshua goes he leaves an impression on people.
There is nowhere I can go in Shreveport or Bossier without someone knowing Joshua.
Joshua has his good days and bad days, but he thrives best in a structured routine environment.
“Just being around him will brighten up your day and he doesn’t even know it,” Myers said. “If you are feeling down, he will just say something that will have you laughing.”
The Louisiana Department of Child and Family Services often struggles to find permanent homes for children with needs like Joshua’s. Teenagers are also a tougher group, but right now, the department is at a critical need of finding homes for all kids. They want prospective parents to know that help is out there.
“Even though working with special needs kids, the first things they notice are the challenges that they expect to happen,” Latoria Cottonham, Child Welfare Specialist, said. “We have so many resources available for families, so you wouldn’t be by yourself.”
Those resources include someone coming to your home and working one-on-one with the child to counselors you can visit.
“Joshua needs someone who is willing to be patient with him and someone who, in spite of the challenges and difficulties that come with working with special needs, is willing to be patient,” Cottonham said. “Look at the positive and look at the potential that he has.”
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