Preparing Your Home For A Foster Child
As with most situations, the thought of starting something new tends to present itself with feelings of excitement mixed with anxiety, nerves, and stress. Opening your home to a new family member is potentially stressful, both for you and other members of your household. Perpetual Fostering is here to help you through this process, as well as to remind you that the child you will be welcoming is likely to be even more anxious than you are.
We understand that you need support which is why all of our foster carers have a strong professional network and support community right from the beginning. Our social workers, initially, provide daily support which eventually becomes a weekly check-in as the relationship with the foster carer develops.
Giving your foster child the environment they need in order to feel safe is the primary aim of fostering. There are, however, some key considerations. As an example, how best to arrange the foster child’s bedroom, as well as your house as a whole, is largely down to your own intuition. Here are some tips that may help:
- Prepare for your prospective foster child in the same way you would when preparing for other family members coming to stay.
- Welcoming a child into a clean and tidy house is instantly reassuring.
- The way you set up their bedroom should feel warm and inviting, not sterile.
- If you use pictures, decorations, and colours, make sure the decor doesn’t overwhelm the child, or fail to reflect his or her personality.
- Stay open to ideas for decorating their room as it will encourage a child to think of it as their own safe space.
Once a placement has been made, there is usually an adjustment period during which the boundaries and routines of both carers and children come to be established. Be prepared for this, don’t fear it, and most importantly, remember the following:
- Your boundaries are there to protect the child in your home, both emotionally and physically.
- There is usually a moment when your foster child will come to accept and settle into these routines, however, some children might test these boundaries to see how flexible they are.
- If you ever feel overwhelmed or find things too difficult to cope with alone, social workers and support staff are always on hand to provide the additional help you need.
- Dependent on the situation, our registered mental health nurse may carry out an assessment involving support workers, spending time in a foster carer’s home to evaluate the circumstances.
Perpetual Fostering is proud to go above and beyond national minimum standards of foster care, ensuring we are always available to support our foster carers, no matter the situation or time of day. Moreover, we believe that this support filters down to the foster children through our carers, and we look forward to continuing in our supportive and uplifting role in facilitating this positive change.