How to prepare your home for a foster child 


Welcoming a new foster child into your home can be both an exciting and daunting experience – you will want to create a safe and friendly home where your foster child can feel welcomed. In our guide, we will be navigating through the steps you can take to create a hospitable environment in which your foster child can thrive.

When beginning a new arrangement with a foster child, it is likely your foster child will feel a varied range of emotions – they may feel confused, or upset, that they’ve been removed from their family home. They may also be feeling anxious about living with a new foster family. Here are a few steps you can take to make the best possible start:

Set up their room

Their room will most likely be the place your foster child spends most of their time, so it should have the ability to provide them with a safe and private space. That’s why adding a few personal touches to your foster child’s room can make the world of difference.

If you are given notice before your foster child arrives, it’s a good idea to liaise with their social worker so that you can find out more about them. A few small details, such as what toys they like to play with or movies they like to watch, can really help a child feel more comfort in their new home. It also shows you’re putting in the effort to get to know them, too.

However, sometimes emergency arrangements happen overnight, or with very little notice. In this case, it’s a good idea to have some generic toys, books, or movies to put in your foster child’s room until you get to know them a bit better.

Clean and tidy your home

Although your house doesn’t have to be spotless to foster, it will help a child feel welcomed if they come into a warm and tidy home. Clutter can be overwhelming and may even make the child feel a bit unsettled if your home is in chaos and disarray, so establish good cleaning routines early by ensuring the house, and their room, is clean and tidy from the get-go.

Ensure your home is safe

If you don’t have any children living in your home currently, there are a few things you may need to do to keep your home safe for children. For instance, you will have to lock away any medicines, cleaning products and any other form of chemicals out of their reach.

If you are fostering younger children, you may want to pack away any expensive or sentimental items – this is so they can play freely in your home, without the fear of them breaking things. Other safety tips include:

  • Check your smoke and fire alarms – this should be something you do regularly to prevent any fire emergencies from escalating.
  • Sharp objects – remove sharp objects to ensure they are out of the reach of young children.
  • Check your window blinds – especially if you are fostering young children, as blind cords can often be fatal if they are left unattended as they are a big choking hazard.
  • Keep windows and doors locked at all times – this is to ensure their safety while they are in your care.
  • Ensure your cupboards are well stocked – so you can rustle up a simple meal that they will like. It’s good to have a variety of recipes to hand before you learn about their food preferences.
  • Spare clothes – depending on the situation, your foster child may arrive with a small number of clothes, which is why it could be wise to stock up on a few essential pieces, such as pyjamas.
  •  Toiletries – make a bundle of personal toiletries for them, such as a toothbrush, deodorant, soaps, and other key items.
  •  Age-appropriate entertainment – if are fostering a teenager, you will want to stock up on magazines, books and tv shows. Or if you are hosting a child then a range of toys will be best.

How Excel Fostering will support you

While there are a number of things you can do to prepare for your foster child to live with you, your independent fostering agency will be able to guide you on everything you need to know along the way. During the assessment process, we create a ‘safer care plan’, helping you as foster parents to identify any risks or hazards before your foster child joins you. In short, we’re here for you every step of the way on your fostering journey.

Thinking of becoming a foster carer? Here at Excel Fostering, we offer full training and support to aspiring foster carers. All you have to do is contact us today to find out more information.

Thinking of fostering?

If you’ve got any questions or would like to find out more about fostering with Capstone, fill out the form below.
An experienced fostering advisor from your local area will then be in touch.

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