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© Gail Underwood Parker

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Focus on Fostering: Welcoming New Children-- pt 1

When new children arrive in your home, ithey come full of loss and often trauma.  Helping them feel safe and comfortable in your home, especially school age children, requires extra work. [And if you have friends who are adopting a new child share this tip with them too!]

Try this way to welcome and reassure a new child. Prepare a Welcome Book about your home, family, and community.  

When your new placement arrives have the Welcome Book waiting on their bed or 
beside their bed.  Use a three-ring binder and include some of the following items:

--Pictures of family members with their names printed clearly.--Photo and description of the elementary, middle, and high school your foster kids would  attend. Include pics of playground and/or sports fields.

--Pages with pictures of some of the fun places to go in your area.... bowling alleys, roller rinks, parks, playgrounds, beaches, movie theaters... anyplace fun you may take the kids

--Simple map of the immediate neighborhood labeling your and nearest neighbor houses with your address and phone#,  plus the closest neighbors' names, phone #s --Picture of the church you attend [maybe including the pastor, priest, rabbi]

--Pictures of  frequent visitor friends, neighbors [with names printed]

--Page with channel numbers for local television stations, including common kids channels

Note: The three ring binder lets you choose which pages to include in your Welcome Book depending on the child who is arriving.  [age, gender, interests, concerns, etc.]This is especially helpful and important for those of you out there who take temporary foster care kids, short term, or emergency placements.

Two weeks from today I will post part two with more welcoming tricks and tips ! 

image credits and thanks:, 

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