5 Ways To Prepare Your Home For A Foster Child
Knowing that a foster child is soon to you arrive in your home will be an exciting time for all foster families, but at the same time this feeling of excitement can often be mixed with a pinch of apprehension and nervousness.
It is important to remember that these feelings are extremely natural and Perpetual Fostering are here to support you at each point of your fostering journey.
Fostering is certainly a rewarding experience, and having the assistance of friends and family during those early days will ensure that the foster child settles in as comfortably as possible.
Being prepared for the arrival of a foster child will not only help to settle you and your family’s nerves, but it is also an important way of allowing your foster child to become accustomed to an environment that is safe, stable and welcoming from the moment they arrive. Setting a great first impression will certainly allow a foster child to increase their interaction with your wider family and grow in confidence around the home.
We feel that focusing on the following areas will help to create this positive and welcoming atmosphere.
1. Bedroom Preparation
The bedroom should be the main focus of your attention, as it’s likely to be the place where your foster child is going to be spending the majority of their time.
Understanding the age and gender of the foster child during the preparation process may help to make your final decisions, but aiming to create a space that is warm, safe and welcoming is clearly the most important factor.
Foster children may become overwhelmed if the bedroom is too personalised or contains too much furniture. Keep things simple by opting for a neutral colour scheme like a warm green rather than stereotypical pink and blue colours.
For older foster children, it’s essential that you provide them with a space that encourages independence, identity and creativity. Providing the bedroom with a desk or a chalkboard will be just perfect, but get them involved and find out what they’re interested in.
2. Other Living Areas
Rather than looking to redecorate your main living areas in preparation for the arrival of a foster child, you should really focus on creating a clean and tidy environment where a foster child can feel comfortable and calm.
Rearranging your furniture so that more space is created to encourage interaction and communication is always a handy tip!
3. Toys and Games
We all know children love to play with toys and games, so it’s always a good idea to collect a couple that you think the foster child will enjoy the most. For younger children, stick with the stuffed animals and teddys, but for those that are slightly older how about a board game or two, rather than an electronic gadget?
Board games will promote more interaction and ‘family time’, as well as discourage the reliance on electronic gizmos that will only support more solidarity behaviours.
4. Clothing and Toiletries
Having an abundance of spare clothes and toiletries ready for the arrival of a foster child can certainly help to create a great first impression and instantly gain trust. We all know that nothing says “we’re here to help and support you” than a warm and cosy pair of pyjamas.
5. Don’t forget the food supplies
Obviously there’s now going to be more mouths to feed, but chances are your foster child is likely to be hungry once they arrive. Having a pizza or some cookies ready is another great way to help ‘break the ice’ and make the foster child feel immediately welcome into your home.
Get them involved by finding out what they like and don’t like in terms of food at this early stage.
By preparing practically for the arrival of your foster child you can certainly help to create a great first impression, a welcoming atmosphere and encourage instant trust.
Over the next few days, weeks and months of your fostering journey, it is hoped that the physical environment that has been organized will lead to strong and successful relationships within a home that is comfortable and reassuring.
Here at Perpetual Fostering, we provide the highest level of training and mentoring at any time of the day or night and at any point of your journey.
Through the encouragement we provide to our inspirational family of carers, we have been able to provide foster children with environments that are safe, secure and prosperous. Interested in becoming a foster carer? Call us on now on 0845 0740076 for more information.