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How to prepare your home for a foster child

Where you can take time to prepare your home for the arrival of your foster child to make it a welcoming and safe setting.

November 24 2020 - 4 min read

Fostering is a rewarding experience and at FCAS we are here to support you every step of your journey.  Welcoming a foster child into your home for the first time can be both an exciting and nervous time for any foster family.  But if you feel anxious can you imagine how your foster child must feel?

Therefore where you can take time to prepare your home for the arrival of your foster child to make it a welcoming and safe setting. Being organised and prepared will enable your foster child to settle in as quickly as possible and create a good positive first impression.

Here we offer some practical and useful hints and tips on preparing your home for a foster child.

Your home environment
To protect young children ensure your home is child proofed by installing safety gates and cupboard safety clips, this will help to prevent accidents such as falls or trapped fingers.  Scottish Fire and Rescue Service carry out a free fire safety check of your home.  They will provide useful information about smoke, heat and carbon monoxide alarms.

Children love to play with games and toys so having a small supply of age appropriate toys, board games and books for when your foster child arrives will really help them to feel more at ease, relaxed and settled.

Alcohol on display, in the fridge or in any of your living spaces may trigger negative or traumatic memories from early experiences.  Therefore we state you should make provisions for any alcohol to be out of sight and locked away in a secure cabinet or cupboard.

Keep a spare picture frame available so that you can include a photograph of your foster child in your home which will help to make them feel welcome and transition to be part of the family.

Unisex bedding in their bedroom is more practical, so think about neutral / multi colours, or patterns such as spots, stripes, which will also help to add colour and fun.  Create a warm and inviting bedroom for younger children have some books and a cuddly blanket ready for their arrival.   For older children create a bedroom environment that encourages creativity and able to explore their own identity. You could provide a desk or a pin board to place posters, artwork or pictures. This will really help your foster child build attachments to their environment.

Food supplies
Have child friendly food such as fish fingers, chicken nuggets, pizza and burgers in the freezer ready to offer your foster child (it is also good for emergency placements too). These comfort foods can help ease the stress of being in a new environment whilst still having some nutritious value.

Clothing and toiletries
Sometimes it is not always possible to have a spare clothing.  But having family on standby to help do an emergency clothes shop can be handy.  Some of the basics needed would be pyjamas, underwear, socks, set of clothing.  It’s beneficial to have a supply of toothbrushes, bubble bath, hair brushes and sponges for any unplanned placements, but also you are prepared.

Being prepared practically it can really help to ensure that the experiences your foster child has whilst being in your care is a positive but also rewarding for you.  Hopefully these recommendations from FCAS will help you to manage your foster child’s period of settling in!

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