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.

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.

Making them feel like they belong

keslarzmom's picture

My 3 yr old foster craves routine. From the moment she wakes up, things need to be done in order. She just wants to know what to expect. She asks what we are eating for each meal the next day before she goes to bed each night. Now, 9 months in, she doesn't let me switch things up for get anything- ever! She had a lot of anxiety at first but just letting her know our daily schedule helps tremendously.

Express themselves

Heidi Russell's picture

Let your foster children feel free to express themselves. Let them talk about where they came from, and what they like to do, their parents, life as they know it. Give lots of encouragement! Make sure they know they are safe in your home.

Listening

Always b there's picture

I love your answer and how it involves really listening to the child and letting them know you are interested and care. That would be a great start toward making a child feel more relaxed and help them trust you as a new caretaker.

As foster parents, we think

shoebarb's picture

As foster parents, we think that communication and honesty are paramount. We try to make our environment as normal and constant as possible.We always try to make them feel wanted and loved.

Communication

cyndigallardo's picture

We certainly agree that communication is paramount. The children are looking for positive consistency.

Find out about THEM

Lil Michaels's picture

Initially we were very focused on telling the kids about our family as a way of making them feel safe, secure, welcome. I have learned that many times they need for me to be more interested in them...where they are from, who they love, what they like to do, what they have experienced, etc.

Agree

davidgregor's picture

Totally agree! I think it helps both sides come together the more you listen to them.

Communication be truthful

Silvestri25's picture

Depending on the age of the child/children you always want to be as truthful with them as possible considering their age what they can understand. By communicating with them it teaches them that open communication is a good thing and to it will go both ways.

Communication

brigtyme's picture

Communication is the key to everything you do while the child is in foster care.

i believe communication is

jenn0888's picture

i believe communication is the key.... try and find out as much as you can about the child from the child. what they like and dislike.always be honest

Reassurance

Always b there's picture

As a grandparent of three children who have recently entered the foster care system, I am finding these answers so reassuring. Because of some health and mobility issues, I don't feel able to take in my grandchildren whom I have been very close to. Having them removed from their home has also removed them from me and has been painful and devastating to all of us. They are in three separate homes in three separate cities. They are ages 4, 7, and 10.
I can't tell you how much I appreciate the care and dedication of all of you foster parents at this very difficult point of our lives. I'm hoping that no matter how things turn out whether they will be returned to their home or not, that this time will serve as a positive, helpful time of their young lives.
Thank you.

Just welcome them into your

trek24's picture

Just welcome them into your normal day-to-day activities.

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