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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.

Transitioning

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.

Routine

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.

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.

humility

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.

Welcome

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.

Remember

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.

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.

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