10 things to do the first week of a new placement 

The first week with a new foster placement is all about getting to know the foster child and allowing them to get to know you. It is an overwhelming week but these steps are crucial in starting the foundation for them feeling at home and loved. 

  1. Sign them up for school/daycare. This is always the first thing I do (during the school year). I take off the first two days I have a placement so that I can sign them up and then take them to school for the first day.
  2. Learn about any court dates and visits set up.  The caseworker or licensing worker should call you within the first week to let you know when they child will be seeing their parents. 
  3. Establish rules/chores. This is something I do very slowly. Everyone has their own way of setting down ground rules for foster kids. I prefer to just mention things as they come up. 
  4. Be patient with the rules. They are in a brand new house and probably have forgotten your name already. Gently remind them the rules in your house. These rules are brand new to them and will take time. 
  5. Go to the store with your foster child. Allow them to pick out food they like and clothing they like. Also maybe allow them to pick out a special toy. One time the day after I got a placement I took all my foster kids to a garage sale and let them pick out a toy. 
  6. Take lots of pictures. It is always nice to have pictures to look back at. However, the point of taking pictures the first week is to be able to put pictures of your new foster kids around your house so they feel at home.
  7. Allow them to decorate their room. I always let my foster kids pick out wall stickers to put around their room. They always love it.
  8. Find out what they like to do and do it. Even if it is something small like building a puzzle together, show them you care about their interests.
  9. Go on a family outing. It can be something as simple as going to the movies together. Just do something to make them feel like part of the family. 
  10. Know there will be some hiccups. Like finding out your new foster child only eats oatmeal for breakfast and you don’t have any in the house. It happens and you will figure it out.

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