All responses taken from our Facebook groups: Foster Parenting Toolbox and Kinship Parenting Group.
Entering a new home can be overwhelming and scary for a child of any age. We asked current foster, adoptive and kinship parents how they welcome new children into their homes. Here’s what they shared:
“Smile at them and greet them first when they get out of the car – calmly. Introduce myself by my first name. Then say hi to the transport worker. Invite everyone inside, and if the child isn’t ready, invite them to explore the yard while the worker and I chat.”
“Food. We take babies and toddlers, and usually, they need to be fed immediately. So that’s always first for us, even while the caseworker is still here.”
“I offer food first. I show them their room and the bathroom next and then ask what they’d like to do and if they want to be alone.”
“Introduce myself. Ask if they are hungry or need the bathroom after their long drive. Give a tour of our house. Ask what they need. Tell them I understand this may be scary. They may feel anxious, angry, sad, confused … reassure them they are allowed to feel whatever they feel and I am here to support them however they need.”
“First, I meet them outside and we introduce ourselves. Once we get inside, we let them choose if they want to have a seat or check out their bedroom and toys. Then we take a tour of the rest of the house and have a snack.”
“Show them where the toilet is and give them food and a drink.”
“Show them where the toys are and let them play.”
“Had the bedroom ready as much as possible. Show where the bathroom, towels and other essential items are. Snacks. Depending on age, talk about food likes. Very basic rules and expectations. Open forum.”
“In a lot of groups I’m in I hear so many people say nightlights in hallways, bedrooms and bathrooms regardless of age just in case! I also read allowing TV in the bedroom to help comfort them while adjusting to a new environment.”
“We go grocery shopping for their favorite snacks and such. Also clothing shopping if time allows that day. We give them a Care Bear to sleep with and take them out to eat. Taking them out to eat actually shows you a lot about the kid. It will automatically show you their social skills and anxiety level if any and their eating habits.”
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