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

tbaxter's picture

tbaxter said:

We tour the home with them, letting them know they are safe and welcome in our home. We explain that our home is a safe place and that you are free to talk or just be as you adjust.
mattbaxter's picture

mattbaxter said:

We tour the home with them, letting them know they are safe and welcome in our home. And explain that our home is a safe place.
Ratmom's picture

Ratmom said:

I try to show them that I care and treat everyone equally no matter if they are my kid or not
LizDavis16's picture

LizDavis16 said:

I currently introduce my foster children with my name being Elizabeth, my wife's name, the name and age of our children, and our pets. We show them to the room and let them know whenever they are ready we are here to show them anything else. Actually just had a placement come to us we can go and I made a welcome basket for them. The beds are freshly made with a new pillow and clean blankets. My hope is to have a small binder introducing each family member and explaining what is in each room of the house so that there is no pressure to sit and have a conversation unless it is wanted. I also want to include a notebook that could be used as a journal or for older kids a way to communicate if they do not want to talk face-to-face yet. We try to be as inviting as possible and include them in any activities that we are providing.
H.Collins's picture

H.Collins said:

The first thing I show them is their room and bathroom. I want them to see their personal space so they can know that they have a place just for them. I show them where we keep food and snacks and let them know that snacks are available to them at all times. I show them where my husband and I sleep so that they know where to go at night if they need something. Then I tour them around the rest of the house and answer their questions as we go
Ktucker's picture

Ktucker said:

We tour the home with them, letting them know they are safe and welcome in our home. We offer food and drink and make sure their immediate needs are met. We offer to talk, but it usually takes at least a day or two before they open up to us.
jralph's picture

jralph said:

I just want them to know that I am there for them and on their side. But also that I want their parents to get healthy too.
Beto14's picture

Beto14 said:

Show them you will take care of all their needs and that the home you are providing is a safe place.
Erniee23's picture

Erniee23 said:

I honestly have no idea how i would introduce my home and that is only because i have never had a child in my home that wasn't family. Any child that has come into my home it's always been family and they know my home very well. However the child either shares a room or has their own room depending on the situation. Either way i have lots of love to give.
ckieber92's picture

ckieber92 said:

first, we introduce our self's and our children or any any other foster children in the home. After that we always taking the kids around the home and how them where they will be sleeping and allow them a little time to explore. After they have had some time to settle, we like to go over the home's rules and our daily schedules.