Credit hours:

Course Summary

Preparation is key when welcoming a new child into your home. The arrival of a foster child in your house can be a time of excitement, as well as anxiety. For the child coming into your home, it is an especially intimidating period. It is often a time of questions, from you and your family, as well as from the foster child. Being ready to answer these questions, not only with words but with your actions, is crucial in the initial adjustment period. Welcoming each child into your home will be different, 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 which will help you prepare to introduce your home and your family to your new foster child.

In this course, you can expect to learn:

  • Special things to consider when introducing a child/adolescent to your home
  • Reasons a foster youth may have a difficult time adjusting to a new home
  • How to make the transition to your home go smoothly for any new arrival


A special note from FosterClub:

Hello FosterClub Foster Parents!

We hope that you find our excerpts from our Foster Cub Coloring Book, Foster Care 411, and Quick Start Guide useful. We encourage you to connect the young people you work with or are in your care to the FosterClub community to help navigate through their foster care experience.

Thank you for being a foster parent!


Step 1

Review the following article from, "Welcoming a Foster Child Into Your Home", to gain insight regarding special considerations to take when a new child is entering your care.

Step 2

Watch the following video to hear what FosterClub Young Leaders, Isaiah Palomo and Alexis Baska, say would have been helpful for them when transitioning into a new home:

Step 3

This excerpt from Foster Cub can help begin a conversation with a child about the role of a foster parent, and provide comfort to a child who may be adverse to the idea of someone replacing the role of their biological parent(s). Having a discussion about your responsibility to keep them safe and healthy could be the first milestone in creating a warm and comfortable home environment (click image below to enlarge):

Step 4

Equally as important as introducing yourself to help a child feel comfortable in your home, is taking time to get to get know them and about the things that are important to them. Review the following excerpt from FosterClub's Foster Care 411 publication and encourage your foster youth to use as a guide to share information about themselves with others (click image below to enlarge):

Step 5

Consider the information provided in the following excerpt from FosterClub’s Quickstart Guide. This can help prepare you to have a discussion about how a young person just entering the system is feeling and can also serve as a tool to help your foster youth start to think about their hopes or fears regarding the transition to foster care or a new home (click image below to enlarge):

Step 6

Review the following tool from FosterClub's Foster Care 411 publication, to gain an understanding of some of the things an adolescent may be concerned about when entering your home, also consider using it to introduce your family and home. Providing insight about who is in your family and what they are interested in could help ease anxiety and establishing and communicating house rules upfront is a great way to begin a  conversation 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:

What do you currently do to introduce your home to new arrivals, or what do you plan on doing in the future?

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Course Discussion

lmacgregor's picture

lmacgregor said:

Before we received our first foster child, I wrote a letter to him/her introducing our family. I included details and pictures about each of us and our pets, our neighborhood and how we spend time together as a family. When she arrived, I put together a meal that we enjoyed with the social worker to help ease the situation. I then took her on a tour of the house before finishing in her room. I let her unpack and try and relax after a stressful few hours. We also introduced the members of our family one at a time to not overwhelm her. We eat dinner together as a family and included her in all our mealtimes and family activities (working out, games, tv time, hikes). Finally, we gave her the choice of if she wanted to participate or if she needed time to herself. I made sure to let her know I was there for whatever she needed, but also gave her space if she needed it.
Deloris Willett's picture

Deloris Willett said:

Great trainning
Deloris Willett's picture

Deloris Willett said:

Great trainning
Deloris Willett's picture

Deloris Willett said:

Great trainning
Deloris Willett's picture

Deloris Willett said:

Great trainning
curtis2me's picture

curtis2me said:

I would introduce him or her to the family. Show where they will be sleeping and other area they may need to go.. Always have rules to follow but I'll let them get a feel of their surrounding first. Asked if they have any question for me or the family. You have to give them time to figure out what going on. Let them know if they have any question come to me anytime, well figure it out together.
Khrystij13's picture

Khrystij13 said:

We have only fostered very young infants so for us it has been just to hold them as much as possible to establish a connection.
kgmcarnahan's picture

kgmcarnahan said:

Make sure a nighlight is ready!
jklickner's picture

jklickner said:

Give them a tour...offer them a snack. Let them know where the fun things they can play with are. Discuss what they need (personal care, clothing, something for their room, etc).
epowell's picture

epowell said:

When youth first enter my home I give them a tour. Then we sit and discuss their old home rules. So that we get an understanding I let them know what I expect in my home and I also listen to what they expect out of me.