Welcoming a foster child into your home and your heart can induce a roller coaster of emotions. You’re probably feeling excited to get to know them yet anxious to do everything right in terms of their well-being. Whatever you’re feeling, you can be sure that the foster child has even stronger emotions about moving in with you, which is why the first few weeks of their placement are critical to how they will eventually feel about living in your home. Here are five important things to do in the first few weeks of taking on a foster child.
Turn Their Bedroom into a Sanctuary
Every foster child needs their own bedroom to call their own, and you can help your child settle in by turning it into a sanctuary. During the first few weeks with you, they will probably spend a lot of time in their room. So, make sure it is a place they can enjoy alone. It is a good idea to keep bedrooms neutral, especially if you are expecting short-term placements. However, you can get in touch with your fostering agency to get some more information about the child before their arrival. This way, you can include personal touches that reflect their age and personality. For example, young children may enjoy playing with toys in their room, while older kids might prefer to read a book or may appreciate a TV in their room.
Give Yourself Time for Everything Behind the Scenes
Besides finding time to look after a foster child, you will also need to give yourself time for all of the things behind the scene too. This can include follow-up paperwork, meetings with the social worker, and any courses you may need to complete in order to give proper care. In addition, it is important to keep a record of your foster child to ensure they thrive in your home. The Foster Care Associates are one of the largest agencies in the UK, and they provide different types of fostering placements. If fostering in Leeds is something you are looking for, you can find your local team via their website.
Be Prepared for a Whirlwind of Emotions
As stated above, foster children react in different ways when placed in a home. They may feel confused about why they are with you, upset that they have been separated from their biological family, and wary about living with someone new. After a few weeks, they may even feel guilty about enjoying their life with you. It is important that you are prepared for a whirlwind of emotions and understand that this is completely normal for foster children. It is equally as important to be reassuring and compassionate during the first few weeks.
Look After Your Personal Well Being
Foster care is all about looking after vulnerable children and giving them a place where they can grow up feeling safe and secure. However, you should also expect to feel a whirlwind of emotions during the first few weeks, and you should take steps to look after your personal well-being.