I always make sure the child

KEISHATUBBS's picture

I always make sure the child knows that we don't use the term "foster" in my home. That always seems to open the door, and make things a little easier. I tell them they can call me what ever they chose, but foster parent. I believe that makes the child feel more welcome.

Providing Feeling of Hope

fosteraf21's picture

Although I am thoroughly aware of the importance of initially modeling and ensuring a setting filled with a warm welcome, acceptance, hope and safety, the previous informed videos and readings are reminders that serving as a foster parent must be a true calling. Children from these walks of life have various experiences and simply looking for someone to really care, be a good listener and help them determine and provide assistance on their individual roadmap to a better life. Together, we can make a profound difference!!

permanency

thereserockwell's picture

I can see that permanency is a very important consideration when having a foster child. Taking on a child you don't know can feel very uncertain to a new foster parent, it must be doubly uncertain for the child. It is valuable for the child to feel that they are in a situation that is stable for them. If I have the option to keep a couple siblings together, I would like to do that. I can see how comforting it could be for them to have a brother or sister with them in a strange place.

Easing a child's entry into foster care

Ankromfamily1's picture

One thing that I think has helped our foster girls is to see how we take care of our bio daughter, the other spouse, even our pets. They were too young to talk when they came into our care, but I think it helped them to see that everyone in our family was loved and safe, and they would be to.

Providing safey

Honey1030's picture

I would give a child a home that would foster caring and safety. Give them space to think; but be there for support. I would help the child to establish routines and goals that would help them move forward.

Providing a safe place

tertelgirl's picture

I feel that you need to provide the child a safe place and space to call their "own." The children need to have normalcy of routines (as much as possible) and as the video suggested, be there for the child, showing care and consistency!

Easing into the system

jncreech's picture

Foster parents need to give the children space to get to know them without expecting an instant connection, yet they need to give enough of themselves to help them know that they are there for the children.

love

Brandonsc01's picture

let them know that no matter what they have done wrong in the past once they come through your door it no longer matters this helped out a lot with the 15 year old that we had...

Be present and available

shankennedy's picture

I've only had one foster kiddo and he's still with me 14 months later. I know the best thing I did was just talk to him and show him around the house. I'm a single foster mom and I have a big dog. I asked my kiddo if he wanted to help me feed the dog and take her for a walk. I immediately wanted him to know that he was a part of my life. We walked around the neighborhood and talked about what we saw. I know when I'm anxious, having conversation about idle things tends to bring my stress down.

Normalcy

Bslweaver's picture

I think that its important to keep things as normal as possible for the child. To provide them with the same opportunities that other kids have in life. Sleepovers, dances, birthday parties. Without that I don't think a child can grow.

Feeling safe

refrazi's picture

When a child enters our home I always just talk to them ask them their name what they like to eat ect. Get to know that child just a little bit and tell them your name and a little bit about you. Doing this helps the child feel safe. Some you may not be able to do this with but if you can just hold them and wisper things in their ear. Then for the first week let them get use to things around the house, the swing of things and setting guidelines. They began to feel that they are safe.

Feeling safe

refrazi's picture

When a child enters our home I always just talk to them ask them their name what they like to eat ect. Get to know that child just a little bit and tell them your name and a little bit about you. Doing this helps the child feel safe. Some you may not be able to do this with but if you can just hold them and wisper things in their ear. Then for the first week let them get use to things around the house, the swing of things and setting guidelines. They began to feel that they are safe.

Give them a chore

Chafinclan's picture

I have found that 75 % of the children that we have welcomed into our home had to do some kind of chore.It is an act of normalcy.Have them help someone or give them there own chore to work on everyday.Gently guide them on how you want it done and praise them when it is done.

One Idea

shawndoughty75's picture

Helping the child feel comfortable and letting them know it's ok to be themselves. To let them express themselves however they need to. Be there for them. Tell them you don't have all the answers but you will figure it out together.

I think it's so important to

debville63's picture

I think it's so important to let the child adjust to their new surroundings. As care givers we never know what a child has gone through, but the most important aspect it to let them know, that no matter how they behave, they are loved. It's important to not take their behavior personal, as care givers we are secure, they have been abused and traumatized, so patience and long term commitment to earn their trust is the key.

I think it's so important to

debville63's picture

I think it's so important to let the child adjust to their new surroundings. As care givers we never know what a child has gone through, but the most important aspect it to let them know, that no matter how they behave, they are loved. It's important to not take their behavior personal, as care givers we are secure, they have been abused and traumatized, so patience and long term commitment to earn their trust is the key.

easing the child's entry into foster care

cgoslee's picture

I think it helps to give the child some space the first few days. Let them know your available once they feel comfortable enough to talk or ask any questions they need answered to get acclimated. Do not overwhelm them because that can be scary especially to a younger child.

Don't overwhelm them

Tat2man's picture

Let them adjust to their new surroundings, and ease them in to your family at their pace.

let them know you care about

whitemichelemarie's picture

let them know you care about them, and no judging...

Adjustment

kaitlynpettitt's picture

Let them feel loved unconditionally and safe.

Adjustment

kaitlynpettitt's picture

Let them feel loved unconditionally and safe.

Adjustment

kaitlynpettitt's picture

Let them feel loved unconditionally and safe.

Entering foster care

mcondon's picture

We like to do pre-placement visits if possible.

Entering foster care

rcondon's picture

We have found that the first several days are definitely adjustment days for everyone. If we know ahead of time, we like to have available a favorite movie or stuffed toy, something familiar.

My hopes!

jessicaabraun's picture

I hope any children in the foster system who enter my home know they are safe and loved. I want to offer them a space of their own, look them in the eyes, and help them find control in an out of control process.

Entering a Foster Home for the First Time

BaltimoreFosterParent's picture

My wife and I find that there is a common adjustment period of about 3-5 days where we just take time to get to know the child, observe behaviors, and find out favorites. During this time, there is not a strict outline of rules, but we take the time to introduce routines and find out what he/she likes to eat, wear, and do. We also make a point to go to local book distribution centers and allow the child to pick out books that are of interest to them. We also make a point to visit the local playgrounds and find other activities of interest to begin to make them feel included in our family activities.

Entering the foster home

cmharris131's picture

My husband and I are first time foster parents of a little boy who just turned 9. We were so excited and scared when he first came to our home. I remember the night. He was quiet and definitely upset. We quickly found a DVD he might like to watch. We watched Big Hero Six that first night and he has probably watched that movie about 20 times. Watching the movie allowed him to relax a little and it also kept us from asking too many questions. It helped the awkwardness of the situation. Another thing that I didn't realize until we were talking about a month or two after is that he thought we were the ones that specifically had him removed from his home. He didn't understand that we had know idea who he was. This was key to helping him understand that we had not asked for his removal to be placed in his home. We explained what foster parents do. These were helpful.

Be open

linneacnord's picture

I believe the best thing that I can do is be honest with the case worker. There are times when a child is presented to me that I know my husband and I are not able to give the care needed. In being honest I'm not just trying to make it work with a child that will eventually need to be re homed due to not being a fit with our family. As much as I dislike saying no, I want every child who has to go through this to have the best chance at meeting a home that fits their needs more and sometimes being honest with my case worker is what allows that to happen.

Don't be afraid to be honest.

grncarex2's picture

In my experience under kinship foster care, I have learned to be able to say, "I don't know. I don't have an answer for that, BUT I will find out what I can. I will ask." Starting in under the heading of kinship foster care, is numbing. It's not like you had a plan of ever being in this position. So, not only are you trying to help ease children through their bad experiences, you find yourself trying to think, process, wrap your mind around it, gain understanding of the system, and expectations...everything. I compared it to being in a foreign country without a passport. I didn't know the language, lingo, terminology. There were days I felt like they didn't like the tourists there - me. But, in the pure honesty of finally admitting I just didn't have an answer, seemed to help us all. The assurance that we all needed answers seemed to relax the children because they were able to share those concerns and know it wasn't just them with the care. As we learned together, the greater ease for the children came via the follow-through by the adults - actually asking others those tough questions, getting answers, and even when there were no answers readily available, at least putting in the effort. Don't be afraid to be honest.

choices

dandibell's picture

help children feel some control and ownership in their new setting by giving them choices and an ability to be a small part of the decisions processes.

Part of our family

trindadc's picture

The main thing that we, as a foster family, try to do when they enter our home is show them their own space. It is important for us to give them at least a couple drawers in a dresser that are there's, or a wall to hang something of theirs on, or a shelf to place a special item of theirs. Just letting them feel immediately that they will be treated like a member of our family. And love and kindness is so important, but also respecting their emotions. For example, I will ask is it okay if I give you a hug, so that they can understand my intentions of showing them love; but, showing them respect if they are not ready for that interaction.

Making new ones feel at home

bshaver's picture

One thing that I feel like is very important to do is to make children feel like they are part of our family.
As just like most family's we have pictures of our family's ( actually living there our not) either hanging on the wall or in picture frames. One thing we like to do is have pictures in the room where the new foster child will be staying of foster kids that have previously stayed at our home, and after a few days add a picture of them to help make them feel like they have a new home no matter the length of their stay. I believe it will also help give them a feeling of security knowing you care enough about them to hang their picture on your wall. This could even be a feeling of acceptance to the child which would also give them more of a secure feeling.

stuffed animal

kassidybishop85's picture

letting the child pick a stuffed animal to cuddle/sleep with

Ease into foster care

mhowardjr35's picture

With our twins we always made sure they had something comforting to them - like their taggy blankets. Some recognizable that brought them comfort before

Welcome

TheJLedQ35's picture

trying to incorporate things that were positive memories of their home.

Make them feel loved and safe

Desiree9157's picture

Make them feel loved and safe and treat them the same as you treat your biological children. Be patient, remember all things take time.

Make them feel loved and safe

Desiree9157's picture

Make them feel loved and safe and treat them the same as you treat your biological children. Be patient, remember all things take time.

Foster Care

rocksheen219's picture

The biggest thing that I believe is to show the child love and to show them you care.

Welcome

deybarry01's picture

I have a niece that lives with me so I make sure that she is there with me to greet them. I also share photos of my children as kids and their adult pictures. This shows the children that I'm capable of taking care and providing a safe place

always wanted

mtcrxlady's picture

daily reassure our grandbabies that we foster that they are loved and wanted here and we do many activities to teach them new things and record it all in photos and videos

Welcome

sebjones's picture

Allow them to ask as many questions as soon as they come into your home and let them know that they will be safe and heard!

Welcome

sebjones's picture

Allow them to ask as many questions as soon as they come into your home and let them know that they will be safe and heard!

coming into care

1biochild's picture

learn a lot about their likes and dislikes as soon as you meet them. its a good ice breaker

Have a space for them they

AmyWhiteside's picture

Have a space for them they can call their own

space for them

cstorm1's picture

As our first experience with a 5 & 7 year old...we have noticed how important individual space is to each of them

space for them

cstorm1's picture

As our first experience with a 5 & 7 year old...we have noticed how important individual space is to each of them

Safe

RickGa's picture

I want the foster child to know they are safe.

Open Communication

JaiLa's picture

I want our foster child to know they can ask any question and I will do my best to answer it fully. And lots of understanding, support, and love will be provided, too.

FEELING IMPORTANT AND WANTED!!

wlalonde's picture

We include the child in our daily routines and ask them what their daily routine is like and we try to incorporate their day to day activities with ours to make them fell included and wanted. We also take lots of pictures. Love the idea of making a disk for the kids to take home. We will start doing that too.

Foster Care

spedteacher828's picture

It's good to see many of the numbers decreasing, but there is a lot that they don't teach you in the trainings about your rights as a foster parent that my husband and I have learned the hard way. Just want to warn everyone to study laws for your area and be aware when something isn't seeming right. We learned the hard way, but came out winning in the end. We are wiser now to the laws and rights of the foster parents as well.

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