Credit hours:

Course Summary

Preparation is key when welcoming a new child or young person into your home. The arrival can be a time of excitement, as well as anxiety, especially for the child coming into your home. It is often a time of questions, and being ready to answer these questions with both words and actions, is crucial in the initial adjustment period. Welcoming each child into your home will be different, and it is important to take into consideration the child’s developmental age to ensure you are using age-appropriate tools and language to help ease this complicated transition. This course offers a variety of articles, discussion guidelines, and engagement tools for various ages to help you prepare for this important transition.

In this course, you can expect to learn:

  • Special factors to consider when introducing a child or youth to your home

  • Possible reasons it may be difficult for a foster youth to adjust to a new home

  • Advice and tools to facilitate a smooth transition to your home


A special note from FosterClub:

Hello FosterClub Foster Parents!

We hope that you find the excerpts in this module from key FosterClub resources useful:

We encourage you to connect the young people you work with or who are in your care to the FosterClub community to help navigate through their foster care experience and connect to their peers.

Thank you for being a foster parent!


Step 1

Review the following article from, "Welcoming a Foster Child Into Your Home" to understand special considerations to take when a new child is entering your care.

Step 2

Watch the following video to hear from FosterClub Lived Experience Leaders Isaiah Palomo and Alexis Baska on what would have been helpful for them when transitioning into a new home.

Step 3

This excerpt from the Foster Cub coloring book can help begin a conversation with a child about the role of a foster parent, and provide comfort to a child who may be struggling with to the idea of someone replacing the role of their biological parent(s). Opening the conversation about your responsibility to keep them safe and healthy could be the first milestone in creating a warm and comfortable home environment.

Step 4

An important step to help a child feel comfortable in your home is taking time to get to know them and what is important to them. Review the following excerpt from FosterClub's "Foster Care 411" publication and encourage your foster youth to use it as a guide to share information about themselves with others.

Step 5

Consider the information provided in the following excerpt from FosterClub’s "Quickstart Guide." This can help prepare for a discussion about how a young person is feeling having just entered the system and can be used as a tool to help children and youth start to think about their hopes or fears regarding the transition to foster care or a new home.

Step 6

Review the following tool from FosterClub's "Foster Care 411" publication, to understand some of the things an adolescent may be concerned about when entering your home. You may also consider using it to introduce your family and home. Providing insight about your family members and their interests could help ease anxiety. Establishing and communicating house rules upfront is a great way to begin conversations about boundaries and expectations specific to your home (click image below to enlarge).

Step 7

Review the following Huffington Post article, "The Trauma and Turmoil of Being Placed in YOUR Home: Uncertainty for Children in Foster Care" contributed by  Dr. DeGarmo. In this article, Dr. Degarmo describes the anguish experienced by a particularly difficult foster care placement situation while offering wisdom, inspiration, and helpful ways to work through a difficult transition with your foster child.

Step 8

Join the discussion in the comments below to answer the following question:

How do you currently introduce your home to new arrivals, or how do you plan on doing this in the future?

Step 9

Finished the module? If you are logged in as a subscribed user, take the quiz to earn your Continuing Education Credit hours and certificate! 

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Course Discussion

Aabeyta's picture

Aabeyta said:

We had a crib set up and clothes in the size range we were open for. We had necessary bottles and diapers on hand and multiple toys and things needed to care for young infants and toddlers
paulabeyta's picture

paulabeyta said:

As one who is only open for infants and new borns - we have a space set up for them and clean clothes and food choices available.
nhaynes's picture

nhaynes said:

Alot of visiting to get t know them. maybe give them a little space
jwelch's picture

jwelch said:

Make sure the room is ready.Clean bedding is a must.Discuss their responsonsability to help keep them safe.
ghaynes's picture

ghaynes said:

currently I always try to make a home cooked meal. in the future I want to try to have more conversations to help them feel comfprtwble
maytammy's picture

maytammy said:

fjenkins5's picture

fjenkins5 said:

Introduce family members in the home. Tour of home. Provide expectations and rules
cindylspeedy's picture

cindylspeedy said:

We have their room set up for age appropriate books and games. We do our best to have a clothes closet for appropriate size clothing. We talk about what's important to them and their needs.
dsalmans's picture

dsalmans said:

We have prepared a welcome to our home package that normally included items like snacks, books, games, comfort items, all of course that are age appropriate.
rubenia's picture

rubenia said:

i ask the children what do they like to do and encourage them to continue most of the time i am drawing or painting when the children take notice they as if they can do the same and we end up making a painting together or drawing i also so cater food so i teach them about gardening and they love doing it just watching something they grew is amazing to them.