7 Ways to Help a Foster Child Settle in

As a foster carer, you are unlikely to ever get two children with the same needs, or who bring the same challenges to your life. But you will always get children who need time, patience, love, and support. Some settle in quickly, whereas others take longer to feel at home. During the early days, behavioural and emotional problems can be common, so it’s crucial that you do what you can to make the settling-in process easier. Here are some tips to help.

Create a First Night Box for Different Ages and Genders

If you are preparing to welcome your first foster child, services like fcascotland.co.uk can provide you with more information on what to expect. But a first-night box will always be a great way to help any child, of any age, feel welcome in your home.

Make sure you include things like PJs, a toothbrush, a few toys or books, and something comforting like a teddy. It can be a good idea to have a few different boxes ready for different age groups just in case you ever have a last-minute arrival.

Try to keep everything in your box as gender neutral as possible to make your life easier and avoid upsetting anyone with stereotyping.

Make Sure You Have a Range of Food Available

Children can be fussy eaters and even those who aren’t picky have particular comfort foods that make them feel happy and cared for. Freeze plenty of family dinners, and make sure you’ve got lots of tins and snacks so that you can create treats and meals that they love easily.

Create a Family Book to Introduce Yourselves

Meeting a new family can be overwhelming. Creating a scrapbook, with a page for every family member is an easy way to introduce everyone, without getting into your new foster child’s space. Include photos and a few facts and have pages for pets. You could also add a page for every child you foster and show your new addition where they will go.

Make Sure Their Bedroom is Comfortable

Their bedroom should be comfortable, with things like blankets, cushions, and stuffed toys. But it should also have space for them to put their own things, including personal touches like posters and photos. Try to use neutral colours that will suit everyone and avoid colours that could alienate.

Give Them a Tour

A tour might seem a bit formal, but they need to know where everything is, and it’s the best way to do it. Do this early, and then let them have a look around on their own.

Give Them Some Space

Don’t be surprised if a new foster child wants to spend some time alone. A new place and new people are overwhelming. Give them time and space if that’s what they want.

Enjoy a Few Days at Home

You might be tempted to take your new foster child to all of the best local attractions for families straight away. But it’s best to stay at home for the first few days and branch out slowly, maybe starting with a local park.

All children are different, and foster children can be more different than most because of their experiences. Making them feel welcome and helping them to settle in can help you to create a quick bond that makes the rest of their time with you easier.

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