As rewarding as being a foster carer can be, welcoming a new person into your home can be scary. Many foster carers feel both anxious and excited about opening their home to a foster child. And it’s not just foster carers who feel this way; children in care may also have a mixture of emotions. They may feel confused or angry at being separated from their birth parents or nervous about meeting you for the first time.
This is why you must take great care to prepare your home, family, and foster child for the coming change to make the arrangement easy for everyone involved. Your foster child is going through a lot, so making your home welcoming, comfortable and safe will make the transition less overwhelming.
If you’re about to welcome a foster child into your home for the very first time, here are some top tips to help you prepare your home:
1. Tidy Up
Many people think they must redecorate their entire home before welcoming a foster child from a fostering agency like fosteringpeople.co.uk, but this is not necessarily true. As long as your home is in a good state of repair and tidy, you do not need to redecorate.
Tidying up is vital as a cluttered or messy home may give your foster child the impression that they are walking into chaos or disorder, which could make them feel uncomfortable or unsafe.
2. Prepare Their Bedroom
Children are taken into care for many reasons. While some children are taken into foster care because they have lost a parent, others are taken into care while their parent overcomes an addiction. Whatever the reason, all foster children have experienced some level of trauma.
First-time foster carers must remember this when preparing a bedroom for their foster child. The bedroom must be a space where the child can feel safe, secure, and relaxed. It should have everything they need to feel settled.
3. Lock Away Harmful Items
Another important thing you must do before welcoming a foster child into your home is to lock away any harmful items. This includes things like medicines, cleaning products, scissors, and knives.
4. Buy the Essentials
Many children enter the care system with very few belongings. Instead of having a suitcase full of clothes and other essential items, they may only have the clothes on their back. Just in case the child you welcome has very little, it’s a good idea to get some basic supplies ready for them. This includes things like deodorant, soap, a toothbrush and toothpaste, clothing, and hygiene products.
If you’ve recently started the process of becoming a foster carer, you’ll probably already be aware that there are many things you need to do before you welcome a child into your home. This not only includes attending relevant training, but it also includes preparing your home for your new arrival. Thankfully, this isn’t as difficult as you’d think. Simply follow our tips above, and you’ll be ready to welcome your first foster child in no time.