There are times as a foster parent you have plenty of time to prepare before your foster child comes to live with you. Other times, you may have only a few hours for foster readiness. Here are some things you can do on an ongoing basis that will help make the transitions a little easier for everyone.
Have Their Space Ready
One of the best ways to welcome a new foster child into your home is to have an inviting space, just for them, already set up. They will need a bed or crib and bedding. If you are fostering young children, it would be a good idea to get a waterproof bed protector as bed-wetting is often a consequence of trauma. Books, toys, movies, games and stuffed animals can make their space feel homier. Comfortable, soft blankets are a great addition and could further facilitate a feeling of safety for your foster child.
Personal Care Items
You will want to have a collection of basic hygiene items on hand; general, age-appropriate hair care products or a hair dryer and curling iron for older girls are both good to have on hand. Oral hygiene items like floss, a toothbrush and toothpaste and mouthwash are important. Soap, washcloths, and towels should be readily available. It’s important to remember that new fosters may not feel comfortable or safe bathing when they first arrive. It’s ok to give them some time to settle in before introducing a personal hygiene regimen.
Common, Approved Medications and Care Items
A thermometer, fever, and pain relievers, allergy medications, lice treatments, and other common use medical care items are important to have available. If the child is taking a prescription medication you will need to contact your pharmacist for more information on safely medicating your foster child. Always make sure your medications are locked away any time there are children in your home.
Snacks and Drinks
It’s a good idea to have several choices for snacks and drinks on hand. Newly placed foster children may feel uncomfortable asking for something specific or telling you that they don’t like a certain food item. Having a variety on hand gives them choices and can prevent any awkwardness they may feel when it comes to their food and drink preferences.
Learn More About Foster Readiness
For more information on foster readiness or support for existing foster families please contact us.