The first days of a foster placement can sometimes be the hardest. It can take both sides a while to get settled.
We have outlined a few ideas and suggestions of how to make the transition smooth and all parties feel more comfortable.
Introducing yourself and other members of your family is a good thing to do after the young person has arrived. Ask them what they would like to be called, and what you all like to be referred to.
Ask if they are hungry, it is a good idea to have something prepared or quick to prepare. One of our Foster Carers has a special meal that she likes to prepare that the kids absolutely love!
A take away is also a great idea for the first night, you can let the young person choose the food ensuring they feel more settled as it is probably something they are more used to.
It also give you chance to find out about their likes and dislikes, make a note this will come in very handy!
A DVD is always a good idea on the first night, letting the young person choose ensures everyone is happy. It also gives the young person a chance to relax and chill out not having to worry about making to much conversation.
Some of our carers also have a board game or two to hand in case the child or young person doesn’t want to watch a film.
Again getting them involved in this decision will allow you to find out likes and dislikes and also find some things you might have in common.
A quick tour around these house should be on the agenda. Show them where they will sleep, where the bathrooms are and where your room is should they need anything during the night.
You can also show them where they can find toiletries or where extra toilet rolls are kept.
This will be a stressful time for them so ask if they would like to talk. Some won’t want to talk at all, but some may want to chat about what has happened, the placement and any questions they have about what will happen next.
Tell them what to expect in the morning. What time do you wake up, what happens at breakfast and how the shower works The first night in new surroundings might be hard, but this may help ease worries about waking up in a strange place.
Do you have any suggestions of how to make this transition a little easier? We would love to hear from you.