Deciding to provide foster care for children in need is the first step in the journey, but what comes next? It can be overwhelming to get started, but breaking up the things you can do to prepare into manageable, bite-size pieces is a great way to get started.
One of the first ways to prep for a foster child is to prep your physical home. This guide is going to walk you through 5 essentials things you can do to prep your home for foster care.
- Declutter your belongings.
If you have a lot of clutter, debris, or assorted knick-knacks, try to do a good purge before welcoming a new child into your home. A cluttered home can be overwhelming, stressful, and make children feel anxious.
Decluttering belongings from open storage should also make your home easier to clean. A clean home can be a very inviting place for newcomers and maybe put yourself at ease as well.
- Organize what’s left.
Beyond just discarding cluttered items, it’s also important to organize the items that you decide to leave out. Easy organization not only makes it easier for you to find things, but also provides an opportunity for the child to find things for themselves. (Like a bin of board games or an organized shelf of children’s books.)
- Safely store hazards.
If you have any breakables or sentimental items that are very important to you, be sure to take the time to store these items properly. Sometimes new foster placements can have emotional outbursts or tantrums.
Emotions are a part of adjusting, but it’s important to provide a safe space for these to happen without accidents.
Of course it probably goes without saying, but when purging your house of hazards, be sure to also discard or safely store any potential weapons or medication (prescription grade or over-the-counter).
- Leave the bedroom as a blank slate.
Although it can be exciting to welcome in a new child, try to resist the urge to fully decorate their new room. You can use a few simple pieces to make it welcoming, but try to save the big items for once they arrive.
You can use the room as a source of conversation. Ask the child about favorite activities, characters, games, etc. Allow them to pick out their own bedding or special items in the room as a way to make it feel like their own special space.
- Have a family meeting.
Whether your home consists of just adults or a mix of children and adults, it’s important to understand the expectations of changes that may happen when the foster child arrives.
Change is hard, whether you’re old or young and someone new in the house can sometimes challenge the way that a household has been running. And that’s ok. Be expectant. Be prepared. And be honest with all the members of your family so that everyone understands the process.
Check out these 10 Tips for Holding a Family Meeting.
You can do this.
Welcoming a foster child into your home can mark the beginning of a wonderful transitional period for both the child and even for yourself. Prepping your home for their arrival is an important part of easing the transition and helping everyone adjust to the new surroundings.
Editor-in-Chief @ moderncastle.com
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