Welcoming a foster child (or children) into your home isn’t as simple as just opening your doors to them – there are a few things you will want to consider before they arrive. Creating a foster house that isn’t only welcoming, but also safe, might seem a bit overwhelming, but there are a few things you can do to achieve this.
Your foster child will be experiencing a whole variety of emotions, from sadness to anxiety. Remember they are coming to stay in a stranger’s home and are probably quite confused as to why they have been removed from their own home. To you, your home is your home, but to a child or young person coming into your care, it will feel foreign and might be difficult for them to settle.
If you have time before your foster child arrives, you might be asking ‘how to welcome a foster child into home?’ We have collected a few practical tips to prepare for their arrival.
Make sure it is clean
Although we don’t expect your foster child will be inspecting your house in the same way an adult would, you will still want to make sure your home is as clean as possible when your foster child arrives. The child or young person is more likely to feel at home if they step into a tiny house, because mess and clutter suggests that the home is chaotic or unstable.
As a foster carer, ensuring a home is warm, clean, and safe is what will help to make your child or young person feel more at home.
Ensure they have a space they can consider theirs
Without a doubt, the most important part of the home for the foster child will be their bedroom. It will be a place they can consider theirs, so they should feel comfortable enough to spend time there. It is likely that your foster child will spend quite some time in their bedrooms in the first few days they are living with you, so they need to feel secure and welcome there.
Although there is no need to completely redecorate their room before they move in, it is important that you do try to add personal touches depending on their interests and age. Young children will want more toys, books and games in their room, whereas a television would probably suit an older child more.
Your foster child’s bedroom needs to be a place for the child to feel relaxed, express themselves and be free to be themselves. Although it will be beneficial for them to build a relationship and spend time with your household and family members, they might feel a little overwhelmed at times; so having a safe haven to escape to is essential.
Find out about their interests and hobbies
Before you can start to personalise their bedroom, it would be a good idea, if you have time, to learn about your foster child’s background and situation. By having a chat with your social worker, you can find out as much as possible about the child coming to live with you before they even arrive.
By asking questions about their character, their interests, their favourite foods, and information about their background, you will get a good idea as to what sort of thing your foster child or young person will want in their space.
Pack away anything fragile or of sentimental value
When looking after younger children, we recommend that you pack away anything fragile or sentimental, to avoid preventable damages. Your home needs to be functional and as welcoming as possible, and the children in your care need to be able to play and feel comfortable, without the fear of breaking anything important. Although you will have to establish house rules, they will feel far more comfortable if they aren’t constantly worried about breaking things.
Remember, foster children will usually have come from broken or unstable homes, so having a space they feel safe and cared for will feel unfamiliar to them. By giving them quality care, love and attention, they will begin to feel at home, but making sure their space feels like their own is essential.
For more advice on how to welcome a foster child into home, you can read more about the things to consider for your first day with a foster child. If you feel as though you could give a child or young person a suitable home, or would like to learn more about foster care, you can get in touch with us on 0800 566 8317 or alternatively you can request a digital brochure today.
If you’re thinking about becoming a foster parent, there are a few things you will need to know before starting this process; however, do not feel you need to know everything right away. It’s likely that you have a lot of questions. One we’re asked often is ‘how long does it take to become a foster carer? And why does the process take the time it does?’
According to research, many children are affected by separation anxiety disorder from a very young age. The reason for this is that when they grow up and become toddlers, they realise very quickly how much they depend on their parents or guardians. For this reason, they can feel anxious when they are not around these people or left to be cared for by strangers or people they don’t know particularly well.
By the time a child enters foster care, their development has already been affected due to the circumstances that have led them to be removed from their birth family.
Without a doubt, fostering is a career path many people follow, and it is a full-time role. Fostering as a career opens many doors, especially if you are looking for a career where you can directly influence and change children’s lives for the better.
Before considering becoming a foster parent, you will need to think about whether it is the right path for you. Fostering is not for everyone, and there are a few things you might want to think about when determining whether fostering is the right thing for you.
One of the most common questions asked when people begin to consider fostering is ‘are foster carers self employed?’
Foster carers receive a fostering allowance for each child placed in their care. The amounts vary for each child and how many children are placed with them – but this financial support is classed as an income and can, as a result, be taxed. Foster carers are considered self-employed, so are responsible for paying their own taxes.
When children are unable to live with their birth family, they sometimes need to be looked after by a foster carer. Given that these children will have been removed from their parent’s care, for a lot of them, this will be their first impression of what it is like to live in a safe and positive environment.
If you are just setting out on your fostering journey, it is important to note the difference between fostering and adopting – it might not always be immediately obvious, which is why it is vital to do adequate research before committing to anything – with that being said, can you adopt a foster child?
We are often asked “can I be a foster parent if I am single?” It is widely held belief that in order to foster a child, you need to be married or have evidence of being in a long-term relationship. You might be surprised to know that this is not the case; single parents can foster too. In fact, some of the best carers are single parents, who may or may not have children of their own.