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

Sunnysar's picture

Sunnysar said:

I like to give a short tour first, with the emphasis on the child's personal space. I offer food and drink, and if the child is young, toys to play with so that the caseworkers and I can complete the required paperwork. I like to end with paperwork once I know the child is somewhat settled. I find it helps to let the caseworker know up front that I'll be doing a tour and snack first, so they don't try to rush through the placement.
KMorse19's picture

KMorse19 said:

We introduce ourselves, safe and calm intros with our dogs and then ask if they would like to see their room. After worker leaves we start to work on a grocery list so we can all go together either that day or the next.
swashington12's picture

swashington12 said:

welcome them and tour the house get to know them, offer something to eat and sit and talk awhile.
alikim77's picture

alikim77 said:

Make sure to lay out the rules of our home. Be patient with the child accepting care. Tell the child what to call us.
Burtonfam's picture

Burtonfam said:

We introduce family members, give a home tour , eat a snack, and then ask the children about themselves.
jam1970's picture

jam1970 said:

We do a full tour including telling them stories about different items in the house.
ktrickel's picture

ktrickel said:

I give them a tour, feed them, and ask them about themselves.
Mdigennaro's picture

Mdigennaro said:

There are many reasons that a child may have difficulty adjusting to their foster home. Each child is different and may need different approaches to adjust successfully.
George Jackson's picture

George Jackson said:

Patience and love is the key
ctmainguy's picture

ctmainguy said:

I would give them a tour of the house, let them know where their personal space is, give them a sheet with our family information and house rules, and give them time to settle-in alone, then discuss their expectations, hopes, and house rules.