Being a foster parent can be quite challenging when you are just getting started, but it can also be a rewarding experience. Taking a cue from experienced and trained foster parents, here are a few quick suggestions to make your foster children feel welcome in your home.
Ensure that You are Prepared for the Type of Fostering the Child Needs
Technically, a 17-year-old teenager who has been remanded by the court is also a child, but that’s not the kind of responsibility a person can undertake without the necessary training. The same goes for disability fostering where the family needs to provide care to children with special needs. Make sure you know what you are signing up for before you do and receive all the necessary training you need. Unless you are comfortable with the kind of responsibilities that you will need to handle, it will be difficult to meet a child’s needs and therefore make them feel at home.
Ensure that You are Provided with the Funds You Need
Unless you can provide for the children, they cannot possibly feel welcome, happy, and safe in your home. However, it is not your responsibility to care for them financially. As foster care parents, you will receive a fostering allowance because foster care in most instances is a full-time job. This allowances helps you take care of the children living with you.
If you are an experienced and trained foster care parent, or just willing to become a foster parent for the first time, look for more information about fostering allowances on a site like orangegrovefostercare.co.uk.
Personalise Your Care
It isn’t uncommon for some children to go through multiple foster homes throughout their childhood, which makes it difficult for them to form any kind of meaningful, emotional bonds with their foster parents. However, foster parents have the opportunity to make the children feel more welcome and cared for, even if it is for just a few nights or weeks.
Now, it would be impossible to make suggestions for providing personalised care without knowing the specifics such as the child’s age, personality, history, etc., but the following steps generally work well with most children:
· Get to know as much about their personal details such as name, age, personality, likes, dislikes, fears, etc., as you can.
· Prepare the child’s room in advance and make sure it’s as best suited for their age, personality, interests, etc., as possible. Or better still, wait until they arrive and decorate it together.
· Address them by their full name on your first meeting, and then ask them what name they would prefer.
· Ensure that everyone in the family living with you at that time calls him/her by their chosen name. · Everyone likes eating their favourite food, especially children.
The outcome of each interaction between a foster child and their foster parents depends on each other’s outlook, beliefs, and approach. As foster parents, you have an opportunity to show the vulnerable children in your care what it’s like to live in a safe, nurturing home. If you can start by making them feel welcome, then you’ll set yourself up to hopefully build a strong, positive bond with your foster child.