Helping your Foster Child get Settled in 5 Simple Steps
One of the most important steps in the fostering process is helping your foster child get settled in your home.
You want their stay to be as encouraging and beneficial as it possibly can be; so the sooner they get settled the better. Here are our 5 top tips for helping your foster child feel as comfortable in your home as possible…
Create a friendly environment
If the space your foster child is in makes them feel comfortable and safe, they will quickly settle in. It’s important they have this space in which they can relax and spend some time on their own. One good idea is to keep the space neutral, and allow them to add their own touches. Get them excited about how they can help to decorate their own bedroom! Some foster children may bring a few of their favourite things with them, so it’s a good idea to encourage them to use these to decorate their space.
Start with a Smile
It’s important to try and encourage your foster child to be open and honest with you. Fostering is often about helping them to trust you, to help them speak to you about what’s on their mind. Try and remain friendly, positive and kind. By welcoming a child with kindness and showing them empathy, you will get the placement off on the right foot.
Take A Breath
When your foster child steps into your house it can be very overwhelming, so establishing a sense of familiarity is likely to take time. It’s essential that you don’t rush things when they first arrive. Try not to overwhelm them by showing them around the whole house straight away or introducing them to too many family members or asking them too many questions. It’s important to take a step back and allow them to adjust to their surroundings.
We recommend that you show them to their bedroom first to give them some time get to know the space that is theirs so that they have a haven to turn to should they get overwhelmed.
Make some Plans
A great way to make your foster child feel at ease with you is to try and plan activities with them. Be sure to take their age and interests into consideration, or simply ask them if there is anything they would like to do.
Set out a Routine
Introducing a sense of routine and laying out some simple house rules will help you to create a feeling of normality and responsibility within your home.
While your foster child may find it difficult adjusting to a new set of rules, by allowing them to know these rules from the off, you can set some boundaries up straight away. Remember that you will need to allow for mistakes and give them time to adjust to your way of life.
By preparing properly for your foster placement, you will ensure that your period of foster care is both positive for the child and gratifying for you. These tips will hopefully support you in managing your foster child’s settling in period. It’s always good to remember that fostering is a caring and compassionate vocation which helps children and young people call somewhere home, so the aim is to make your home feel like theirs!
Thank you for reading and we hope this blog about helping your foster child get settled has been helpful!
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