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

MzNae Elerson's picture

MzNae Elerson said:

I introduce the child to my family including the pets, then I give them a tour of the house and help them to put their things away. I always deal with the little one so I feed them afterwards and try to do a fun activity with them so that they can feel safe and be ok in a new environment
zcmurphy's picture

zcmurphy said:

We plan on making our home feel inviting and welcoming while giving them time to process as well. Our resource coordinator gave us a great idea about having a bucket full of different items such as toothbrushes (different characters) that they get to choose when they arrive. It can give them a some sense of control over their life and choices. I liked the idea of having fresh homemade warm cookies for kiddos to enjoy when they arrive.
snmurphy's picture

snmurphy said:

We plan on making our home feel inviting and welcoming while giving them time to process as well. Our resource coordinator gave us a great idea about having a bucket full of different items such as toothbrushes (different characters) that they get to choose when they arrive. It can give them a some sense of control over their life and choices. I liked the idea of having fresh homemade warm cookies for kiddos to enjoy when they arrive.
tenawest89's picture

tenawest89 said:

We typically tell the child everyone's name, show them around the house and where they will be sleeping. A lot depends on the age of the child.
mikenjulieclarke73@gmail.com's picture

mikenjulieclark... said:

we introduce ourselves. let them pick a toy. sometimes letting them watch their favorite cartoon or movie helps
mikenjulieclarke71@gmail.com's picture

mikenjulieclark... said:

we introduce ourselves. show them around. let them pick toys and other items out of a box to keep.
hankandeli's picture

hankandeli said:

We are foster parents to teen boys. We have 1 dog and 3 cats that serve as my welcoming committee. The chocolate lab is a therapy dog and usually makes most kids feel very comfortable right from the start. She helps greet them at the car and then takes the tour of the house with us. We also have a back deck that is used for talks. What is said on the deck stays on the deck. We like to tell our kids that they will always have a voice.
kmundie's picture

kmundie said:

I always first take them to their room and show them around. If I have had enough notice of their arrival, I go out and buy them a toy and stuffed animal that I have waiting for them in their room. We have 3 biological kids, so I usually let them walk the child around and show them all of the fun places to play.
wiliam79's picture

wiliam79 said:

What I do depends on the child age, I usually foster newborns and children under five. Usually I sit with the child, have a toy or welcome gift and try to make them feel les stressed out. Young children are really adaptable since they have less awareness of what's is going on.
Tinymutt's picture

Tinymutt said:

We usually have to pick them up from the agency,so we introduce ourselves ask them their name we talk a little if they want to.When we get home we show them around the house let them see their bedroom. Ask if they are hungry,if so we feed them then we sit down and let them ask any questions or concerns they have. We let them get a shower and if they are ready for bed we let them go. We discuss the rules and expectations the next day.