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

shavanahwhittaker's picture

shavanahwhittaker said:

When we have new placements, we try to meet them at the car. This way we can say hello in a neutral area and not in our space. We try to make sure that we have new pajamas for them and a small stuffed animal. We mostly take small children so this works. The hardest thing is always the first night. We show them their rooms but usually they end up asleep in my lap on the couch because they've cried themselves to sleep. We have never had an older placement so I'm not sure what that would look like but I would think just to give them space and let them ask anything they needed to to feel comfortable would be a great way to start.
david.moss04's picture

david.moss04 said:

My wife and I have taken our new placements out to dinner. We usually give them a tour of the house and show them around. We have also played family board games or done other activities together as a family to make them feel at home.
david.moss04's picture

david.moss04 said:

My wife and I have taken our new placements out to dinner. We usually give them a tour of the house and show them around. We have also played family board games or done other activities together as a family to make them feel at home.
bekahmoss20's picture

bekahmoss20 said:

As a family, we usually take our new placements out to dinner the night that they arrive. We talk with them, get to know them and try to make them laugh. We give them a tour around the house and usually bake cookies or a bowl of ice cream to make them feel at home. :)
Moralesmdl's picture

Moralesmdl said:

We have made some good decisions in welcoming children into our home, and also learned how we could do things better. For me, the best way to do it is to welcome them and give them a tour of the home (all depends on their age of’ course). I like to talk as much as we can so they can get a feel for who I am, and then I like to help them set up their room so they feel like the space is theirs.
Texasfxm's picture

Texasfxm said:

We ask a lot of questions about the child first...and then we take time to walk them through our home so they know their way around. We introduce them to the family rules and allow them to ask questions. We don’t bombard them right away with everything, rather we take time to let them see the home and get comfortable.
Hgomez1982's picture

Hgomez1982 said:

we found out as much informational possible from the social worker about the foster child before he arrived to our home. we ask what his favorite colors are, what foods he likes, we even painted the room his favorite color and added cool posters. the boy loves his room. To us that was a connection that we made with the foster child when he first walked into our home.
btenequer's picture

btenequer said:

Being foster parents have been a godsend. The infant has brought joy into our life. He visits his parents regularly. We are happy to provide this young couple our love and support. Our prayers our that this young man grows up to be individual who inspires and helps people in need.
murphymumich's picture

murphymumich said:

It depends on the child and the situation. But we try to be warm, ask questions and lay out whatever rules need to be laid out (but not all of the rules). Each child gets more comfortable at different speeds.
cstp009's picture

cstp009 said:

Being a foster parents is difficult in so many ways. Often the children are well behaved when they first come into our home but then their up bringing and personalities come out after a week or so. It is important to find where each child is mentally and emotionally when they first come into your home so that you can better develop a relationship.