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

travis_declet's picture

travis_declet said:

I think it is important to remember that the kids had different experiences and that to place expectation on them without explanation is unfair, and you have to be very patient and allow failures before giving consequences.
travis_declet's picture

travis_declet said:

tour and food are the first priorities. Then talk, or let them sleep
Stalicake's picture

Stalicake said:

We introduce the immediate members of the family and show them around the house. We have two biological kids, and it helps to have them involved in showing the new foster placement around the house and help get them set up in their room. We would then slowly introduce the different house rules and family norms which being mindful for things we could do differently to make them more comfortable.
Nplummer1's picture

Nplummer1 said:

Being a foster child that age out of the system i think when it comes to bring someone in my home i can always relate. I normally give them as much space the first two days. The first day i show them around the house, their room, where to place there things offer food. and let them know my door is always welcome if they need to talk or just to sit there. the first two day i know i just needed to be to myself to process things.by the 3rd day i go over house rules but not to scare them.
Jaremie's picture

Jaremie said:

We have a book of are family with pictures and Each person’s interest and each foster child into our home can add to that book as they become part of our family and we placed your picture on our wall along with 23 other pictures and growing
lizdurant's picture

lizdurant said:

I'm interested in the book Till the End of June. It sounds interesting. We introduce ourselves and we created a life book of our own to introduce ourselves and our family. We also have a very laid back black lab and he does tricks so most kids love it. We usually order pizza (or the kids favorite food) and watch what they want to watch and just try to relax.
D.Smith's picture

D.Smith said:

We welcome children in our home with fresh cookies and warm smiles as we tour the house.
gdmj0311's picture

gdmj0311 said:

I know as a foster parent the first couple of days are difficult for parents as well as the child. we all are uncertain and nervous about not knowing each other and what to expect. the information in this article is useful and informative.
bbcardwell's picture

bbcardwell said:

Show them around the whole house. Love the idea of freshly baked cookies, too.
Troy's picture

Troy said:

We give a tour of the home and let the child spend time in their room. We have a snack and go over house rules.