When you decide to become a foster parent, you are essentially making the decision to let another person into your family. In general, this is not a decision that anyone makes lightly. Indeed, as adults, you and your spouse will now be responsible for the wellbeing of one or more minors. You will play an important role in their upbringing and their development. You will be the ones that they turn to when they need an adult to help them out with anything. Additionally, this is true of younger children as well as teenagers. So, here are some tips to be successful at family foster care:
Go Slow in Family Foster Care
You can’t take on foster children one after the other, even if the state might allow it. Think about how many children you can realistically handle. If you’ve never had a child in your home before and it’s all a learning process for you, then it’s best to start with one foster child. Then, wait until you, your spouse, and the child feel like they have adjusted. Afterward, you can consider getting another foster child.
When the foster child first comes to your home, there is going to be an adjustment period. The child might feel upset at being parted from whomever they lived with previously. They may seem sad, unhappy, or irritable. Thus, remember that this is natural with children and adults. Sooner or later, as you provide the child with love and support, they will adjust. Then, they may start feeling happier about their new surroundings.
Celebrate the Little Things
Part of the adjustment process is learning to have fun as a family. So, when the child comes to live with you, this warrants a little celebration. The child may not seem very happy immediately, but they will enjoy that you are happy to have them. Plus, try to organize little family outings—to the movies, to the mall, to the park, camping, etc. Spending time together is the basis of being a family unit. That’s what you have to establish with your foster child.
Learn More About Making a Child Feel Welcome in Family Foster Care
Contact us for more great tips to make your foster child feel included in the family unit.