Helping Children Settle in a New Home

When young individuals enter the foster care system or transition from one foster home to another, the experience can be exceptionally challenging and emotionally distressing. To assist foster children in adapting to their new environment, we provide the following recommendations:

  1. Preparation and Introduction: Prior to placing a child in foster care, they will typically receive information about their prospective home and family. Emergency foster care situations may not allow for this step due to time constraints. In many cases, children also have the opportunity to meet their future foster caregivers and express their opinions about their potential new residence. This initial familiarity can aid in the child’s adjustment, but every child responds differently to coming into foster care or moving to a new home.
  2. Being Welcoming: Foster caregivers must strive to create a friendly and approachable atmosphere when meeting their foster child. Warm smiles and positive body language can immediately help children feel more welcome. If the child is of a young age, consider kneeling down to their eye level to establish a sense of equality and build trust.
  3. Sensitivity: Pay close attention to your foster child’s body language and, when appropriate, offer a hug to show your affection and sensitivity. Remember that, in the beginning, the child may still perceive you as a stranger, so be attentive to their reactions. Consistently nurturing and welcoming behavior is more likely to foster trust.
  4. Establishing Rules and Routines: Most households have rules and routines that provide a sense of normalcy. Avoid being overly forceful with rules; instead, be clear and understanding. Recognize that some children may struggle with adapting to rules and routines, and always be considerate of their past experiences and reasons for feeling this way. Your foster child might be too shy or nervous to ask questions, so ensure you comprehensively explain any rules and routines you’re putting in place. Maintaining the usual household operations will help create a relaxed atmosphere.
  5. Exercising Patience: Every young person is unique, and the time it takes for them to adjust varies greatly. Past circumstances can significantly influence the time it takes for a child to feel comfortable, with those who have experienced multiple foster placements often requiring more time. The initial weeks of living with your foster child are typically the most challenging, particularly for children who struggle to retain information. Foster caregivers should not hesitate to repeat instructions or inquire about what can be done to make the child feel more at ease.

Whether you are new to fostering and wish to learn more about Little Acorns Fostering or are currently a foster caregiver considering transferring to our organization, we are here to assist you. Feel free to contact our team by visiting our contact page or giving us a call at 01440 732010.

Alex O’Neil

I am a blogger based in the UK. I work as an SEO specialist and Web Designer, and my hobbies include making small films and writing music.