Foster Parent Shopping List – How to Prepare for your First Placement
So, you’ve completed the application process, gone through your assessment, had all checks completed, and finally conquered attending panel who recommended your approval. Now you are happily approved as a foster carer with Fusion Fostering! But what next? Now is where your journey as a carer really begins and it is the start of one of the most wonderful journeys you will go on in your life.
As you wait for the arrival of your first foster child, you may be feeling eager and excited. Questions may be flooding your mind: what will they be like? How old will they be? Will it be a boy or a girl? In all this excited anticipation, we understand that there may also be some nerves. Training and support from our friendly social workers will have prepared you for the role, but nothing compares to actual experience. Just know that any worries or concerns you may have, we are here to support you all the way.
One thing you can do while you wait for the child or young person’s arrival is to get your home ready for them! As a foster family, you will want to make the transition into your home as smooth and stress-free as possible for the child. When thinking about creating a shopping list and getting your home ready, the best place to start is the foster child’s bedroom.
The bedroom should be a place of sanctuary for that young person, a safe place to call their own space and somewhere they can go to take a break from daily life to relax, learn or play. Making their bedroom as comfortable as possible for them will be a great way to prepare for your first placement.
It is a requirement that all foster parents have a spare bedroom for their foster child to stay in. They cannot share a room with any other members of the family. Of course, this will be an essential part of your application and without this, you will not be approved as a carer.
You can read more about the bedroom requirements, here.
So, you have a spare bedroom, but you may be wondering how you should decorate this in preparation for your first placement. After all, you may not know much about the child before they come to stay with you. It is best to keep the bedroom comfortable, cosy and neutral. Think about all the essential items they will need, a bed, wardrobe, chest of drawers, etc. Then think about some things you could add to make the room homey such as cushions, throws, bean bags, stuffed animals, rugs and toys.
If you have a cosy and clean room, it can be a fun idea to decorate it together with your foster child! As you won’t know much about their likes, dislikes or personal interests beforehand, decorating the room together can be a good way to bond and learn more about each other. Some carers buy a neutral duvet cover and then when a child is placed go out and buy a duvet cover of their choice.
Once you know more about the child who will become a part of your family, you will be able to buy more specific things to suit their needs. This will often be dependant on age. Younger children may need car seats, night lights, changing facilities and baby monitors whereas older children would require different items. It is also important to stock up on personal hygiene items, such as a toothbrush, and a basic medicine cabinet for first-aid, as well as clothes.
Awaiting your first foster placement is an exciting time! We hope this article helps to give you some ideas about how you can prepare but we are always there to support you during your first placement and beyond.
If you’re looking to become a foster carer, or are considering switching independent fostering agencies, please get in contact with us at Fusion. Give us a call on 03301 239 355, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our contact form by clicking here.
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