Foster Care

How to Prepare For a Foster Child - 8 Tips for Foster Parents

Becoming a foster parent is rewarding and helps you make a difference. If you’re preparing to welcome a child into your home, here’s what you should know.

Becoming a foster parent is rewarding—you get to make a difference in a child’s life. 

For newer foster parents, preparing to welcome a foster child to your home can involve a lot of moving parts, from education to stocking up on the essentials. It can help to have a good understanding of how to prepare!

We can help—here are eight tips for new foster parents. 

1. Educate Yourself

Always start with learning as much as you can — you can never know too, especially when it comes to becoming a foster parent!

You have many resources that you can use to learn more about being a foster parent—from preservice sessions to a wide range of articles from experts and organizations that help foster kids. 

2. Evaluate Your Home

Part of how foster care works is an in-depth look at the home where your foster child will be staying—this is usually called a home study.

However, it never hurts to double-check for yourself. You’ll want your home to be a safe, nurturing, and welcoming place for a child to grow and thrive. Be sure that there isn’t anything in your home that could cause harm or scare a child that you’re welcoming into your home.

3. Establish Communication Channels

Different children have different backgrounds—especially in foster care. The best way to prepare yourself on how to best communicate with a child in care is to consult their caseworker or the agency assigned to them. That way,  you can gather any important information about their background, preferences, or any special requirements that can help you connect with them! 

4. Prepare Emotionally

Emotional preparation is something that might fly under the radar when it comes to welcoming a child into your home—however, it’s vital for both you and your family. 

Understand that children in care may have experienced trauma or difficult events in their lives. It all comes back to our first point: education. 

You can prepare by educating yourself on trauma-informed care. Using empathy and patience to provide the necessary support during their transition is key to helping a child in care thrive.

5. Create a Support Network

“It takes a village” might be a cliché, but it’s true when it comes to becoming a foster parent. 

Remember that it’s okay to lean on others—building a strong support network can help you provide the best possible care. You can connect with other foster parents or support groups to seek help, share helpful tips, and learn from one another.

Your family and friends can help, too. Even if it’s just to listen and allow you to talk about how things have changed. 

6. Gather Essential Supplies

It sounds simple, but welcoming a foster child means that you’ll need extra everyday supplies!

This can include things like:

  • Toiletries
  • A toothbrush
  • Extra food and snacks
  • Books
  • Age-appropriate toys

Consider what will help them feel loved and welcome upon their arrival.

7. Establish Routines and Boundaries

Structure and consistency are essential for foster children—they provide a sense of stability and security that all kids need. Establish daily routines, including:

  • Wake up times
  • Mealtimes 
  • Bedtimes
  • Homework schedules
  • Reasonable chores

Clearly communicating rules, setting boundaries, and setting schedules helps you create a nurturing and familiar environment for a child in care.

8. Access Resources and Services

There are a ton of local resources and services available to foster parents all around the country—take advantage of them!

Like we mentioned above, no new foster parent should have to go through everything alone. 

As an example, Mentor Foster Care, a part of Sevita’s companies, provides Foster Care services that support new foster parents every step of the way. We can help be the support system that you need to provide the best possible care to a child in need. 

Learn More About Foster Parenting in Our Upcoming Webinar 

Looking for more information on foster parenting?

If so, our upcoming webinar can help point you in the right direction.

By attending a Foster Parent Information Session Webinar and learning more about the fostering process, you can take the first step toward becoming a foster parent and providing a safe, loving, and supportive home for a child in need. 

Sign up for our webinar today!

Sign Up For The Webinar

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