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

BJSingleton's picture

BJSingleton said:

very good
MsPorter's picture

MsPorter said:

As a kinship foster parent, most of the youth that come into my home already know us and our home. We do sit and have a conversation about how they now are apart of our home, what they expect, what we expect and we work together as a family to make it work, for everyone involved.
EsmaStewart 123's picture

EsmaStewart 123 said:

very helpful info, thanks for sharing
EsmaStewart 123's picture

EsmaStewart 123 said:

this was some really helpful information. will use in the future.
work4children's picture

work4children said:

I am just learning and this has been really helpful. So being educated by others is a great start, thank you
krobinson1987's picture

krobinson1987 said:

We start off by introducing ourselves by letting them know that they can call by whatever they feel comfortable with. We try to get to know each other over a meal, be it lunch or dinner. After that we watch a movie or something that doesn't require them to have to be too talkative, but still letting them know that we are there for them.
bspelbring's picture

bspelbring said:

We encourage children to call us whatever they feel comfortable with. We have a welcome basket ready for them with toiletries and at least one stuffed animal. We also give them their own blanket that they get to keep. We usually get something "fun" for dinner like pizza or tacos. We often watch a movie or tv show after dinner to help them feel at ease without needing to talk too much. Later in the week, we will begin to play boardgames and cook their favorite meals.
khone1's picture

khone1 said:

We ask their name, pronouns, any triggers. We give a tour, introduce to the family and animals and show them their room. We talk about likes and dislikes, ask them if they want to share how their feeling or what happened and that they don't have to if they don't want to.
Charetta's picture

Charetta said:

Try to make the child feel ok. Introduce everyone to them. Show them around the home. Talk to the child and make sure that they don't have any concerns.
sherry.peterson's picture

sherry.peterson said:

Both Foster Children were only a few weeks old when placed with me. Placed them on my chest so they could hear my heartbeat and feel my breath on their head to comfort them, also had the basics to meet their needs