Here at Caring Hearts, we are passionate about seeing our fostering families thrive together, so we’ve put together these handy steps to help the young person you’re fostering get settled at home.

1. Get to know them

First step is getting to know the young person you’re fostering before they move in will help you get ready and smooth the transition as they become part of the family. So, try and get the LA to arrange a pre placement visit so the Young person can meet you and your family. This will give you the opportunity to get to know the young person before they move in.

You can ask your social worker questions to help you give them the best welcome into your family. Find out what they prefer to be called, their pronouns, their bedtime routines, and any medical requirements.

You could also find out about their interests and hobbies, if they like pets and if there are things they don’t like or fear. Find out what foods they like and prepare a favourite meal for their first visit and encourage them to bring something for their bedroom to help make the space their own.

2. Take your time

The young person moving into your new home may feel overwhelmed. It’s a new environment, so settling in will take time. Don’t worry, you don’t need to rush it will al fall into place.

You could show them their bedroom first, rather than showing them around the whole house straight away, explain this space is theirs and can be a ‘safe haven’ 

Take your time introducing them to new family members and friends who may be in your home and give them time to get to know each other.

3. Make their room personal

It will mean a lot to the young person you’re fostering to settle in by adding personal touches to their room. You could spend time together planning a shopping trip or look through magazines for ideas. This as above will mean it’s their ‘safe haven’ a place to call theirs.

4. Make fun plans

Plan some fun activities you can do to get to know each other more and spend some quality time together. Taking into account their age likes etc which you would of got to know in the placement meeting. Planning activities together is a great way to show them that home life doesn’t have to be boring.

5. Stay open and approachable

It’s important to be sensitive and approachable when you’re welcoming a young person into your home. Encourage them to be open and honest with you, so you can talk through what’s on their mind and how you can support them. When you welcome someone into your home with warmth and understanding, you’ll start your relationship off on the right foot.

6. Rules and routine

By introducing some house rules and a routine will help you to create a sense of normality, responsibility, and accountability with the young person. You’ll have to be clear about your rules, but also understanding as the child may have some difficulty adjusting to the new environment. A signed copy of rules or a picture format of rules dependant on age can be given to the child and they can be reminded of these if needed.

Remember, testing your boundaries from time to time is a natural part of growing up!