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

Jonestn3's picture

Jonestn3 said:

I first introduce myself and my children. I allow them to explore the home as if it was their own… I then set down with all the family and we talk about rules in the home…. I then assure them that we have an open table policy where anything can be talked about….
kylestone's picture

kylestone said:

We have only had newborns so we just make sure they are comfortable and make sure we are ready for whatever they need.
cmaher0025's picture

cmaher0025 said:

Introduce family and pets, tour the house, tour the kitchen, then discuss house "rules" after a meal
Lflefty24's picture

Lflefty24 said:

I introduce family and pets and allow the child to get a feel for the home
Jschwendeman7's picture

Jschwendeman7 said:

I always introduce our family and pets. We give the child a tour of the house and show them different things around the house. We ask them if they are hungry and ask what they would like to eat (chicken nuggets and fries are always in the freezer just incase).
paulabeyta's picture

paulabeyta said:

After showing the child the home I plan and making sure they know they are welcome - I plan on giving them the form in the article above and leaving room for them to ask whatever they like.
jsduke's picture

jsduke said:

I like to ask the child (if old enough) their name and then introduce us and our family. I like to show him where his/her room will be and where the other rooms (like bathroom, kitchen, living room, etc) are. Then show them where some toys are, etc. so they feel more at home.
travelgirl59's picture

travelgirl59 said:

I like to introduce my self and everyone living in the home then ask the child if he or she would like something to eat or drink. Thereby giving the child time to relax and eat a little something if they are hungry before giving them a tour of the house and showing them their bedroom and bathroom.
meekaa's picture

meekaa said:

aside from what has already been stated in all of the above commentaries; most, if not all will agree that it is a must to have a basic tour of your home for the child or children that may come to live with any foster parent or parents. With care given to the foster child to get settled and releaved of fright and the unknown. If a child arrives at your home after night fall, and/or close to bed time, (age related), they may just want to go to sleep anyway. But if your new guest arrives in the middle of the day, you should be open to reasonable unpleasent reactions to anything you introduce the children to. Such as new food items and house rules. Each new arrival is a new challenge for the children but should be a new adventure for the Foster Parents.
mel_gemini66's picture

mel_gemini66 said:

This will be my first time having a child come into my home. I am adopting and preparing to have child placed with me. I have a list of her favorite foods, toys and other activities. I will take it slow and make her feel comfortable until she adjust to her new home.