Credit hours:

Course Summary

Preparation is key when welcoming a new child or young person into your home. The arrival can be a time of excitement, as well as anxiety, especially for the child coming into your home. It is often a time of questions, and being ready to answer these questions with both words and actions, is crucial in the initial adjustment period. Welcoming each child into your home will be different, and 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 to help you prepare for this important transition.

In this course, you can expect to learn:

  • Special factors to consider when introducing a child or youth to your home

  • Possible reasons it may be difficult for a foster youth to adjust to a new home

  • Advice and tools to facilitate a smooth transition to your home


A special note from FosterClub:

Hello FosterClub Foster Parents!

We hope that you find the excerpts in this module from key FosterClub resources useful:

We encourage you to connect the young people you work with or who are in your care to the FosterClub community to help navigate through their foster care experience and connect to their peers.

Thank you for being a foster parent!


Step 1

Review the following article from, "Welcoming a Foster Child Into Your Home" to understand special considerations to take when a new child is entering your care.

Step 2

Watch the following video to hear from FosterClub Lived Experience Leaders Isaiah Palomo and Alexis Baska on what would have been helpful for them when transitioning into a new home.

Step 3

This excerpt from the Foster Cub coloring book can help begin a conversation with a child about the role of a foster parent, and provide comfort to a child who may be struggling with to the idea of someone replacing the role of their biological parent(s). Opening the conversation about your responsibility to keep them safe and healthy could be the first milestone in creating a warm and comfortable home environment.

Step 4

An important step to help a child feel comfortable in your home is taking time to get to know them and what is important to them. Review the following excerpt from FosterClub's "Foster Care 411" publication and encourage your foster youth to use it as a guide to share information about themselves with others.

Step 5

Consider the information provided in the following excerpt from FosterClub’s "Quickstart Guide." This can help prepare for a discussion about how a young person is feeling having just entered the system and can be used as a tool to help children and youth start to think about their hopes or fears regarding the transition to foster care or a new home.

Step 6

Review the following tool from FosterClub's "Foster Care 411" publication, to understand some of the things an adolescent may be concerned about when entering your home. You may also consider using it to introduce your family and home. Providing insight about your family members and their interests could help ease anxiety. Establishing and communicating house rules upfront is a great way to begin conversations 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:

How do you currently introduce your home to new arrivals, or how do you plan on doing this in the future?

Step 9

Finished the module? If you are logged in as a subscribed user, take the quiz to earn your Continuing Education Credit hours and certificate! 

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Course Discussion

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
riverreines's picture

riverreines said:

Give the child a walkthrough of the home and the people living here, and show them their own space as well
G.Brown's picture

G.Brown said:

Give the child a tour of my home and allow them to make their space their own, makling sure they know this is their home now and that they are comfortable
Batchelor's picture

Batchelor said:

this is formal information.
BigDaddyDan's picture

BigDaddyDan said:

It is important to show a child where they are staying and that they can get comfortable in your home. A lot of their fear is of the unknown.