Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Preparing for a Foster Child

Fostering is one of the most wonderful things you can do to help a disadvantaged child. If you are interested in helping disadvantaged children, either as a foster carer or in another way, contact Children’s Bureau.

Some of the children you will care for have come out of abusive situations, or have been neglected and perhaps even abandoned. Your job is to provide them with care and stability, for however long they spend with you. It’s incredibly important to prepare both your home, and family, to make the transition as easy as possible for everyone involved. This can be difficult, as you often don’t know when a child might arrive, how old they’ll be, what gender, or what their background is. So, it’s best to be prepared for anything. Here are some great tips to help.

Supplies

You don’t need to go overboard, but make sure you always have a few essentials ready. Have a bed made up and ready, preferably in their own room. Then, have a few bags, packed with some clean pajamas, underwear, a toothbrush, and some basic clothes, for both genders, in a few different sizes, as you’ll want them to have their own things as soon as they arrive. Also, be sure to stock up on kids’ favorite foods, snacks and drinks, and child safe medicines.

Space

It’s important to try and make a foster child feel safe, at home, and part of the family, so you’ll want to include them and make them feel welcome. However, depending on their situation, you may find they are withdrawn and crave their own space. So, where possible give them their own bedroom. Keep it quite plainly decorated, to suit any tastes, and let them know they can customize it. Include a few home comforts, such as books, cushions and blankets, to try to make it feel like a safe space from the off.

Entertainment

Children often need much less than we think they do to keep them entertained. So, you don’t need to go mad buying loads of toys. Just get a few things that fit either gender such as Lego, coloring sheets and pencils, books and family DVDs.

Prepare Your Family

Prepare everyone in the household for a possible new arrival. Explain to your own children, be honest with them, and encourage them to ask questions. Then, make a plan. When your foster child arrives, don’t overwhelm them. Introduce them to the rest of your family with a smile and perhaps take them on a tour. Show them your whole house. Be sure to keep smiling, let them know they can ask you questions. Another great, simple way to make them feel safe and comfortable is making eye contact. Get down to their level and look them in the eye when you speak to them.

Many charities work with children who have been the victims of abuse, placing children with foster families, but they also help prevent any future abuse, so there is plenty of valuable work to be done. Find out how you can help today.


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