Credit hours:
2.50

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

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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!

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Step 1

Review the following article from Adoption.net, "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

ssrieske's picture

ssrieske said:

Show all rooms, open all doors
snowwhitefive's picture

snowwhitefive said:

I am just beginning on this path, the children I am taking in I already know. They are like grandkids to me, but I am still nervous for them to be comfortable to transition comfortably into my home. That is why I am taking all these classes to make it as easy as it can possibly be for them. I am disappointed at the courses costing money.
JUSTIN.BERNARDY's picture

JUSTIN.BERNARDY said:

We make sure we have some toys out and we give them a tour of our home.
shankennedy's picture

shankennedy said:

I introduce myself and welcome them. I walk them through the house and point out areas that they will need to know about immediately (like bathroom and kitchen). I typically let them settle in for a day or two and then we hold a "house meeting" to discuss rules and schedules. I'm a pretty casual foster parent.
tcallup's picture

tcallup said:

I introduce myself and my family. Show the child where they will be sleeping. I offer the child something to eat. Then go over rules. The babies I just try to comfort them.
rfara's picture

rfara said:

Depending on their age, we show them around the home and introduce them to the things/toys/spaces that are theirs. We try to give them space or be available for cuddles, depending on what they seem to need! We try to create a safe, welcoming environment and let them know that we are ready to get to know them and their family and their needs.
faratim's picture

faratim said:

We make sure to have their own space prepared for them, even if it's last minute. On the first night, we expect to stay up with them for however long it takes for them to fall asleep. After the first night, we'll start getting into a normal sleep pattern. Be sensitive to their needs, some want to talk, most just want to go to sleep.
faratim's picture

faratim said:

We make sure to have their own space prepared for them, even if it's last minute. On the first night, we expect to stay up with them for however long it takes for them to fall asleep. After the first night, we'll start getting into a normal sleep pattern. Be sensitive to their needs, some want to talk, most just want to go to sleep.
patriciaj's picture

patriciaj said:

my kids were very young when they came to my home so i just treated them like were just like one of my own.
Tinfinger's picture

Tinfinger said:

We typically only take infants so explaining who we are is usually less important than being willing to show up every time they cry no matter what until they realize this is home, they are safe, and their cries are heard.