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Respect and Kindness

LorindaRoy's picture

Things that I find are helpful are getting down to eye level, welcoming them, sensing out how they are feeling, giving them a space that is their own-comfy. Letting them know where things are that they may need and that they have free access to. Forshadowing the routine for them-so that they know what to expect. Be consistent, yet sensitive. Finding out their interests and making plans to enjoy those.

foster parent care

lancedoze's picture

I do Listen...Screaming, fighting, and many other difficult situations. They are Children, not adults...Treat them like CHILDREN...They need to have someone who will listen, protect, and put them first.

I believe listening is a

CarolineShafer's picture

I believe listening is a great quality a foster parent can have. Being a genuine listener, and willing to hear the child's struggles and concerns can help begin to build trust.


mshuffitt7's picture

I have been a foster parent for now 8 months, and I have 5 littles now and I have found esp the oldest ones really want their voices to be heard , they don't believe adults really listen

Structure and Routine

DJLonS's picture

My wife and I were recently blessed with the ability to foster a 7 month old child who's previous primary caregiver was that of an 8 year old sibling. Not that this child wasn't performing admirably, there were understandable and unnecessary issues thrust upon the 8 year old that should not have been. When we received the 7 month old we decided, due to the child's lack of stability and structure it would be pertinent to create a basic routine. The routine consisted of feeding times, play times, nap times, and bed time. Appears simple enough to most, but when one doesn't have that in their lives it is a task to get them on that train. Structure in a young child's life is important so that they know there is stability and consistency. As you saw from the videos, they go through enough already. They want to know and they NEED to know there is stability in their lives and one simple way to do that is to set a routine for them.

Not yet a Foster Parent

MMM0582's picture

I am just starting out in these classes and I have not yet fostered any children, but I do have thoughts on how I'd like to try and help them if I do get the opportunity to have children in my home. I would like to make them feel as comfortable as possible by making them feel safe and wanted. Let them be free to express themselves and not get discouraged if they don't always react in a positive manner to anything that I might try. I know that it will take time and effort and I know that these kids often times are coming from a horrible situation. I just hope to be the best kind of parent that I can be for them.

Let her know she's safe

Deyanira's picture

My niece is has been in our home for 5 1/2 months and just to see her thriving and at ease has been so rewarding. She feels safe.

Grandchild being placed with you.

Macrew's picture

Ask as many questions as needed so you understand the process and what your responsibility is to the children, parents and State workers.

Grandchild being placed with you.

Macrew's picture

Ask as many questions to caseworker as needed so you understand how the process works and what your responsibility is to child, parent and State workers.

caring enviroment

barbie51's picture

provide a caring and loving stable enviroment for the children. Let them know you are there for them but also dont force them to accept you or your family.

Patience is a Virtue

trnelson45's picture

When I child enters my home I often don't know what experiences the child may have had. I am nurturing, patient, and attentive to what the needs are of the child. I have seen the children flourish from this environment. I will also encourage you to get the children signed up with therapists as soon as possible to assist with the adjustment to the new home. It can be very scary for them.

One on One time

horses10's picture

Make sure that you are able to spend a little quality one on one time to get to know your new family member.

My experience with foster

josegonzalez1011's picture

My experience with foster kids has helped me realize the love, support and comprehension that these children need; That we as foster parents have that need of helping them.

in my experience with the

mariaguilen1011's picture

in my experience with the foster kids I've had all they really need is love, comprehension, and time. just trying to make them as comfortable and welcome as you can will make a world of a difference.

what do kids need

aggieerik's picture

In the long term , I think modelling family well is the best thing for kids coming into care. Inclusion with as many thngs as possible is important

Entering Your Home

Kaaron07's picture

We are foster parents to young children and we know when they come to us they are scared and confused. We try to immediately let them know that they are safe and loved. For newborns, that's wrapping them in a blanket and snuggling them close while feeding a bottle. For older babies and toddlers, we get on their eye level and offer a comforting or distracting toy, snack, hug, whatever the child is open to or wants. We keep to a routine and provide the stability that has usually been lacking in their previous environment.

Entering foster care

Barbara-59's picture

I think entering foster care for children is very devastating. The child doesn't who you are and you don't know who they are. But we work together making each other comfortable and trust worthy. Growing as a family!!!

Warm but considerate welcome

dmagill's picture

I think it is important to make sure a child feels at ease and not immediately pressured. We sometimes try to hard to make a child "our own" without considering the child's turbulent past. Some people welcome children with elaborate parties and in other overwhelming ways. It is important to avoid putting a spotlight on the child by bringing too many strangers into the home or introducing them to several family members at once. Tenderness is the key, no matter how excited we may be to have a child in our home.

How to ease into a foster home

rlittleton's picture

First, I think we need to remember that a child is scared and sometimes doesn't understand what is going on. I believe that trying to be welcoming while addressing a couple basic rules is necessary. Sometimes the kids are use to eating junk food. You might have to ease them into your style of food. It is ok to do a slow transition from their junk food/snacks they are used to eating to a real meal that is eaten at the table with the whole family present.

My husband and I are child

Nikkichapman's picture

My husband and I are child specific foster parents for our niece and nephew. We found with them, that setting a schedule and a routine helped. They never had that and with both being ADHD they thrive on routine. Anytime the normal routine is going to change (when we know ahead of time) we start telling them several days before so they have time to prepare themselves and it doesn't cause a huge melt down.

Entry into Foster Care

christirooroo's picture

I have only been a foster parent for 2 years now and I still have my first placement. It will be 2 years this month. My little one was 1 of 6 kids that were brought into foster care. There was no way to place all of them with one family, so the kids were split up into 4 homes- one was a relative's house. 3 of the kids were able to move in with a paternal relative and the other 3 were placed in foster homes. The 3 placed in foster care were 4 and younger. What I thought was the most important for the kids was to keep in touch. It was not the children's fault they were removed from their home and split up from their sibllings. The 3 of us foster parents decided we were going to make sure the kids saw each other outside of the scheduled supervised bi-monthly visits. We also reached out to the relative so that all of the kids could see each other. Over the past 2 years there has only been 1 outing where all the kids were together and it was a beautiful sight. To this day, all of us foster parents still continue to schedule visits so that the kids can be together. I am so glad we put this plan in place because they have not had regular supervised visits over the past 2 years and they probably would not have remembered each other due to the age in which they came into the system.

Welcoming a child into foster care

yvonne3w's picture

Take time to get to know the child -- ask about their interests and plan a time to spend together engaging in that interest. For example, our foster son loved baseball so we took him to an Orioles that happened to be held the day he got placed with us. I also made time to spend time together, reading him a chapter in a book he picked out each night before bed. I think the time together helped solidify our bond. He was nine when he came to us and now he is 10.

Entering into Foster Care.

Cynthia1975's picture

For me, I've found success introducing a routine and light expectations for each foster child that I receive. It gives them a sense of normalcy and prompts them to confidence that they have a certain security in my home.

Providing a Safe, Comfortable and Happy Place

BonSenf23's picture

Establish Routines - Meals, Bedtime, Before School, School, After School, and Weekend Routines.
Be there to listen, ask questions to clarify understanding, provide suggestions when needed. Be there if they need to cry.
Introduce children to new activities and support old healthy activities.
One and one time.
Talk and let them talk.
Laugh and help them laugh.

Easing Entry Into Foster Care

EHMeyn's picture

I would let a foster child entering my home know that he or she is safe. I would provide the child with their own space where they can have their own belongings that will be theirs even if they leave and go back home or to another foster home. I would work with their biological parents to make sure I know as much as I can about the child and make sure that the child has contact with their parents on the phone as well and at visits. I would set aside time each day to do activities that the child enjoys and take them on special outings.


nathanhall22's picture

I believe you should immediately try to find places of comfort for the child- their room, school, basketball court, etc. Every child should have a safe place where they feel at ease. They should be allowed to spend as much time as their "safe place" as possible.

Entering the Foster Care System

Heidiliz77's picture

For us, it has been providing structure and routine. Bedtime is a good example of this. It is (almost) always, bath, pajamas, books, teeth, potty, songs, tucking in and good nights. This has helped my girls to know exactly what is next and to feel safe and loved.


katelynhall22's picture

I think introducing a child to the family routine- on their age appropriate level is critical and will help the child feel like part of the family. It releases some of the fear of the "unknown." Also, letting the child know where to find items in the house relieves pressure as well- toilet paper, food, cups, water, etc.

Keeping a journal

Lisa.Nelson's picture

As a teacher and a foster parent of a third grader, we always spent from 12:30 to 1:30 throughout the summer with a quiet hour. We read books together and to ourselves, and I introduced her to a gratitude journal. To practice her handwriting, her spelling, and as a mode of expression, the journal became something she looked forward to each day. I never read what she wrote, just checked to see that she had done some writing, unless she asked me to really read her daily entry.

Entering Foster Care

jurafamily's picture

Let the child know that they are safe, wanted and loved. Give them the choice if they want to call you by your first name or mom and dad. My husband and I did this with our foster son when he arrived and he chose to call us by our first names where his little sister who is three would call us mommy and daddy. We were fine with his decision to call us by our first name and did not push the issue.

Easing entry

VMagill127's picture

I think that of course every child will be different so the methods may be different, but making sure that they know that they are welcome and make them feel a part of things if they are ready for that - if not, they could have a little space. I would also make sure that they know that we are here to listen if they want to talk, but not pressured.... above all I would make sure they know they are cared for and safe.

Releave there wories

starstremr's picture

You can do what ever you can to insure them that you are their for them no matter what the situation could be.

feeling at home

Mbloodworth's picture

We always immediately treat our foster children like our own, we allow them to choose the dinner the first night their there. making them feel like part of the family.
but also letting them know what the rules are and what is expected.

feeling at home

Mbloodworth's picture

We always immediately treat our foster children like our own, we allow them to choose the dinner the first night their there. making them feel like part of the family.


beverly40's picture

I don't know this will be new to me but I guess I will try to make him feel at home but will also be firm with the rules.

Welcome Party

NCurtis1011's picture

Make it a celebration. Decorations, balloons and cake. Let the child know and feel the love and support. Show that they are welcome in your home.

Help them understand what to expect

Katie Gossett's picture

We showed our foster son around and set a couple ground rules so he knew kind of what to expect. We would also make sure he knew he could always ask questions about our home or our rules or about us. Then we maintained a friendly and open attitude, inviting him to hang out with us or participate in family activities, but we're okay if he wanted to be alone.

contact with parents

tom18skiDecember303's picture

We have always tried our best to make the child part of our family in every way, sometimes, if they are older, they need time to adjust before they are able to participate in family activities. We try to give them time alone if they need it and are always available for them to talk. We also try to keep in contact with the parent(s) if the situation allows and help the parent learn better parenting skills.

feeling welcome

j_bigg_6's picture

Any child that has come into our home we treat like they are part of the family. We do not see gender, race, religion, disability or anything that makes them seem different. We only see a child that needs a loving home and family.

Welcome Wagon

joyceagriffith82's picture

Be positive - reassure them - make them feel welcome and comfortable. Explain to them what you are here for and that they can trust you with anything and you will always listen and never judge them.


amberbobst's picture

being trustworthy is important, I feel if the child/teenager can feel trust and humility in the home it's a good foundation for welcoming and healing.

Welcoming new child and family

GooberDad's picture

We always be sure to keep the bio parents in our conversations with the child and prayers so we help them maintain that bond when appropriate.

Welcoming new child and family

GooberDad's picture

We always be sure to keep the bio parents in our conversations with the child and prayers so we help them maintain that bond when appropriate.

Welcome Gift

jesikad01's picture

When we welcomed our first placement we had a stuffed animal for the child and a new blanket waiting for them on their new bed.

To Be Yourself

Lawrence's picture

I always make sure the child knows there are no draconian rules in the home. They are encouraged to be themselves. That having a bad day or moment isn't abnormal.


0togo7's picture

Welcoming a new child into our home understanding that she is part of the our in "our home" reinforced with love, patience and understanding.

Helping the Transition

spa4x's picture

We made a point when we had a new little one join our family to make sure they knew things were there's. We got new blankets, and some toys that they could always have. We prayed over them every single day.


SeanL's picture

With us becoming foster parents for the first time we need to remember that the child we receive that the ultimate goal is for his or she to be reunified with family again. We are there to support and to help them feel safe. If they return to their family in a month, awesome, and if they return months later that is amazing too. If they are with us for life then that is just fine too :-) We are looking at it that if we can bless a child with things they may not have it is then a blessing for us for being their foster parents.

Safety and Acceptance

sfin74's picture

Safety and acceptance. Encouraging them to let their own individual personality show without judgement. Most importantly, they should know that they are loved!

New child

trombonehampton's picture

When I receive a new child I try resist the urge to purge everything they bring with them. We might drop something in a bath, but if it can wait a day or two we try to wait so they don't feel a secondary loss.