How to Prepare Your Home for a Foster Child
Welcoming a foster child into your home from the is both exciting and stressful for you and the child. There is that initial time period where you will need to get to know each other and create a new routine/schedule all while making the child feel welcome and safe. In order to help with the adjustment period, we’ve put together a list of tips you can use to help prepare your home for a foster child.
Create a Comfortable Room for the Child
Before you even bring the child home you will want to be sure you for them. Whether they will have their own bedroom or be sharing it with another child, you want to set up something that is inviting and welcoming. This includes a bed that offers them enough room, cute bedding that is age-appropriate, a place to store their belongings (dresser, closet), a bedside table with some books, a lamp, and a nightlight (if the child is young).
While you may want to decorate their new room before they arrive, sometimes it’s better to wait for them so they can have an input on the colors and design. The same can be said of toys. You can pick up a few but it may be best to wait to get to know them before going crazy on the shopping.
Stock Your Kitchen
If possible, learn what their dislikes and likes are where food is concerned so you can have some favorites on hand when they arrive. Cooking them their favorite meal as a welcoming dinner is a wonderful way to help ease any anxiety they may be feeling.
Learn About the Child
Before the child arrives it’s a good idea to learn as much about them and their background as possible. This will help you to understand the child’s needs, wants, and feelings better when they arrive. If you have other children in your home, it’s important to share information about the foster child with them so they also can be understanding of the new member in the household.
While it would be wonderful to have the child arrive and everyone just instantly feel comfortable and at ease, this just isn’t always the case. It’s important to prepare yourself for a slow process. The child needs to feel comfortable in their own time, which means on your end.
Don’t Stress the Details
Obviously you want everything to be “perfect” for the arrival of your foster child, but perfect is a pretty lofty goal. Instead it’s important not to stress the details, go easy on yourself, the other members in your household, and the foster child. There is going to be a period of adjustment on everyone’s part and there is no “perfect” process for it.
Remember to Have Fun
In the end, it’s important to remember to have fun and keep things positive. Showing patience and understanding is the very best way to welcome a foster child into your home.