The arrival of a foster child in your home can be an exciting and anxious time. Here are a few tips to help in welcoming a child into your home.
-If possible, try to have everything ready for the child, from clothing to hygiene products as well as making sure you have your schedule planned out after the child arrives.
-Having tangible items available is one way to prepare, but knowing information about the child’s health, interests, education, etc. will be helpful in welcoming a child into your home.
-It is important to educate yourself about the child who will placed in your care prior to their arrival to help ease the transition. Some of this information can include the child’s age, ethnicity, culture, allergies, medication, how long the child may be staying with you, and what are the circumstances that led to the child needing to be placed in your care.
-When the child arrives at your home it is important to welcome the child with warmth and care, but also giving the child space to process everything that is going on. At that moment this child has already endured a lot prior to being placed in your home, so it’s important to read the child’s body language and cues to make sure the child feels safe and secure.
-Keeping an open mind with children being placed in your home is crucial as they more than likely do not have the same structure and rules that exist in your home. Be patient with the child during their transition as they are being introduced to different foods, routines, family members, and rules.
-Do not expect them to follow your rules and structure right away. This takes time especially for a child that may have never had this type of routine.
-Don’t take any behaviors that are exhibited personally. This is all part of the transition for the child.
-Do not expect the child to call you mom and dad.
-Do not expect the child to adjust quickly.
It is hard to predict how each child that enters your home will react to an abrupt change with a new living environment. Keeping an open mind with each child that enters your home and embracing the child no matter what occurs will provide them a sense of security to help with their transition.