Welcoming a foster child into your home can bring a mix of emotions, from excitement about starting on your new journey to anxiousness about what to expect, and it’s important to note that these emotions are all completely normal.
For children and young people, entering a new home can be incredibly stressful and unsettling. Some may have lived with a number of foster carers whilst others may have just been removed from their birth family. Regardless of their background, it’s common that they can feel stressed, angry and confused about moving home, living with a new family and the uncertainty that brings.
Making sure you prepare your home for a foster child can make a big difference to how they feel when they arrive. We’ve added some details below on what you can do to help make the first few days that little bit easier for you all to settle into your new routine.
During the first few days or weeks, foster children will often spend a lot of time in their room so you want to try and make this space as welcoming, safe and comfortable as possible. This doesn’t mean you have to fully redecorate your spare room but having a freshly made bed and some smaller personal touches can help them feel more safe and welcome in their new environment.
Towels and toiletries
Similar to fresh bedding, placing some new toiletries like shampoo and conditioner, toothbrush and toothpaste, face wipes, towels and body wash in their room will help them settle into their new surroundings and avoid them having to ask or search for items which can be uncomfortable.
Fresh pyjamas and clothes
Each foster child is different, but sometimes they may not have many items of clothing. Prior to your first night, it’s beneficial to get some small items of clothing, pyjamas and underwear for them arriving.
As it can take a few weeks for you to really get to know a foster child, it’s a good idea to have a range of food options at home. From cupboard staples like bread, beans and pasta to variations of cereal, fruit and snacks.
Toys, Games & Crafts
Age-appropriate games, toys and craft items are perfect for helping them stay occupied and can also be a great way to engage with the family and find some common interest.
We understand that pets are our family, and that’s absolutely fine however, we don’t know what experience your foster child may have had previously. If you have household pets who like to greet people at the door, it may be best that they are kept in a separate room whilst you welcome your child or young person to avoid overwhelming them or causing additional stress.
We don’t expect everyone’s house to look like something out of Good Housekeeping magazine, but ensuring your home is tidy and clutter free can really help foster children settle in.
Your fostering journey with Fair Ways can take up to 6 months from when you first enquire about becoming a foster carer, and we want to ensure the transition to living with your foster child runs as smoothly as possible.
If you’d like to get started on your fostering journey with our outstanding charity, get in touch here today.
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