David, a 15-year-old who suffers from polycystic kidney disease, needs a foster home in the Washington area so he will be able to take advantage of special medical facilities here.
Orginally from Arlington, he cannot return to his own home because of family problems and would need to live in the foster home for at least three years. Described as a "quiet, withdrawn child," David has had some emotional problems and has been living in a residential treatment center in Lessburg. But those problems have improved, and "he's at the point where he could use a family now," said Cathy Overbaugh, of the Arlington Department of Social Services.
Though David's condition is stable now, he will need kidney dialysis. The social services department would like to place him into a foster home gradually, beginning with weekend visits.He could probably move into the home this spring. But if his kidney problem suddenly becomes worse, David would need a home at once so he could begin dialysis at Children's Hospital National Medical Center or Georgetown University Hospital.
David is aware of his problem and knows he may need a kidney transplant. He is not bedridden and can care for his basic needs. He will be able to attend public school.
Single or married people or families in which both parents work will be considered as foster parents as long as they are able to make arrangements for regular transportation to the hospital. The dialysis treatments may involve two or three hospital visits a week for several hours as a time. David also needs a special diet, which social workers will explain to the foster parents.
He does not need a room of his own, although he does need his own bed. But mostly, Overbaugh said, David needs "a warm, supportive family thay can provide a stable kind of environment for him... so he won't be alone in facing all these nedical procedures."
Training and support services will be offered to David's foster family, and social workers will keep close contact with him and the foster family. His medical care will be paid, and Social Services will help arrange for his special needs. In addition, the foster family will be paid a special monthly rate, depending on the boy's needs.
The Arlington County Department of Social Services asks that people who want to help call Cathy Overbaugh at 558-2613.