Foster Parents — Top 10 Things to Make a Foster Child's First Day Easier

January 31, 2010 at 1:44 pm 136 comments

Dear Foster Parents-

This is for you…. from a FOSTER CHILD’S PERSPECTIVE on how to make the first day easier.   Someone asked me about this and I had written something similar awhile ago.

You can’t possibly imagine how “we” feel being bought to your home….so, please, never take it lightly.

Little things matter and set the tone for things to come.


1. Smile.  If the child is small, please kneel down and meet at eye level.  You are a big person and are probably scary.   Reduce that power by smiling and saying hi where they see you eye-to-eye.

Be sensitive to touch.  You are a stranger. 


2.  Show the child around the place. If there are other kids in your family, let the kids show the “new kid” around. Show the child his/her new room. Offer to carry the bags, but many times the child will want to carry his/her own things. The child may NOT unpack for ALONG time. That is normal. Have some new “age-appropriate” toys in the child’s room.

Stuffed animals are always a good choice.

Let the child look in the closet, under the bed, in the drawers ~ anywhere they might be afraid of. Show them that it is safe and “their space.”.


3.  Have cookies or apple slices or something ready. I was ALWAYS hungry but afraid to ask. 


4.  Invite the child to sit down at the table, have a snack, drink something. Then talk about rules. Don’t be harsh, but be clear. For example: “You can eat anytime you want, but you must sit at the table when eating.”
ASK THE CHILD if he/she has any questions. They may not at first.

Don’t just hand the kid a list of rules and say something along the lines of “follow them or else.”  This is not building a relationship, this is building fear and distrust.

Don’t be overly forceful, even regarding your rules. For example: You might have a household rule that everyone must close the door when using the bathroom. Your new foster child may not be able to follow that rule at first ~ if he/she was abused in the bathroom, closing the door might be frightening and overwhelming.
Always try and understand what or why your child is behaving a certain way.


5. Don’t bring up any other “parents” unless the child does. Some kids want to “forget” and “some kids will ALWAYS compare you to another parent. If you are constantly being compared, say something like “I understand that your bio-mother cut the sandwich better than me, I am trying the best I can and I hope we can work on making it better together.”

NEVER disrespect any other parents, even if they did terrible things to the child. Be honest, but don’t judge. Validate the child’s feelings and listen. Example: “LT, I hear that you are really angry at your bio-mom and you have every right to be, she hurt you really bad. It was not your fault; your mother should have kept you safe.”
Something like that. No disrespect to the mother, but truth and validation.  Remember, that the child loves their parents and needs to heal and understand at their own pace.


6. Foster kids want to be treated JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. Don’t ever introduce them “as your foster child” and don’t have different rules for them compared to your other children. They are already different, don’t make it worse, by treating them different.

**The ONLY time treating a foster child differently than your other kids might be appropriate is regarding punishment. NEVER hit a foster child (or any child) and in most times, taking things away won’t matter, since they don’t have much to begin with. Also, sending them to their room may backfire, as they might want to be alone and are used to being alone.


7.  If the child has anger issues, buy ALOT of pillows and let the child hit the walls, the floor, the bed, etc with pillows. Also buy those blow-up things that you put on the ground that you can hit and they pop back up.   If older, buy a punching bag.
ANGER is natural. Don’t get mad because they are mad.  Teach them to direct their anger appropiately.

8.  To help foster children come out of their shell:
b) Have fun. Do things the child might not have ever done ~ play a board-game, bake cupcakes, goto the zoo, have a movie night with popcorn, goto the park and play frisbee, etc..
c) Read to them, even if they can read themselves.
d) If they are teens, spend the day with them. Go shopping, goto lunch, talk.


9.  Give the child a couple days to figure things out. For some children it will take along time to warm up. Keep talking with them and show you are interested. They are watching you and trying to figure out if they can TRUST you.

Don’t just ignore them.  Ask them how they are doing?  How their day went?  Can you help?  Are they hungry?  Be involved….don’t hide!


10.   Ask the child what you (new foster parents) can do to make it more comfortable or to help them feel better. This alone shows to them that you care about how they feel.

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The Top 5 Stupid Questions that SUCK to Ask Someone Who Grew Up In Foster Care. Hey Foster Parents…5 Simple Things That you NEED to Remember

136 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Foster Care: Meeting for the First Time | Middlemay Farm  |  February 26, 2019 at 2:07 pm


  • 2. Lu  |  January 18, 2019 at 1:45 am

    Thank you for writing this list. My name is Annie. I am up late at night missing a baby boy. He was moved to a relative resource placement after two short and sweet months. We have had two young girls since he left. I love them! But tonight he is on my mind.

    I am new to fostering and my partner is not. Together we are a team. This post helped me learn and heal too.



  • 3. Pamm A.  |  December 15, 2018 at 8:13 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this. Our family is just starting foster care and this is great tips from someone with personal insight. Thanks

  • 4. Monica  |  May 5, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    Love your article. I would like your permission to use your article as part of training for new foster parents. Reading and then discussing it, posting it as part of their required reading. Would you be alright with this? Thanks! Monica

  • 5. Jess  |  April 30, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    Thank you for this post! This is very helpful!

  • 6. lynn  |  February 24, 2017 at 6:15 am

    this list is very good and i would like to use it in training for foster carers. thanks

  • 7. How To Make A Life Book For A Foster Child | dg.imart  |  February 14, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    […] Foster Parents — Top 10 Things to Make a Foster Child’s … – Jan 31, 2010  · Foster Parents — Top 10 Things to Make a Foster Child’s First Day Easier. January 31, 2010 at 1:44 pm 128 comments. Dear Foster Parents-This is for … […]

  • 8. Grammar Granny  |  February 4, 2017 at 12:11 am

    Check you spelling … may not unpack for ALONG time s/b A LONG time

  • 9. Margaret Brown  |  January 12, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    The top ten was very helpful I need this thank you

  • 10. Kimberly Biss  |  October 11, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    This is a great list, please give permission for us to use this for our foster parents to help them try to understand what it is like for our foster children. We will definitely cite your blog. Thanks!

  • 11. Amy  |  October 7, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    I’m putting together a binder of tips and information for foster parents. I would love to include a printout of this post in the binder. Would that be okay?

  • 12. mehong  |  October 6, 2016 at 11:12 pm

    awesome post!

  • 13. denise  |  September 30, 2016 at 7:27 am

    Have you updated this at all, eg re mobiles and laptops?
    Could I post this out to some foster carers?

  • 14. Michele Grueninger  |  August 13, 2016 at 7:52 am

    Loved this advice. Thank you so much!!

  • 15. Ariana  |  August 9, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    Hi. I work for a state child welfare agency and I am putting together a foster parent handbook. I would love to include the top 10 list, with link and attribution provided, and with your permission.

  • 16. Samantha  |  July 29, 2016 at 12:26 am

    Hi! I don’t know if you’ll ever read this, but I enjoy your insightful posts. Have you ever heard of the book I Am David by Anne Holm? The story is about a boy who escapes a concentration camp during the 1950s, and experienced the world for the first time. The view really changed my life, and your posts remind me a bit of them. I think you would get a lot out of it. 🙂 best wishes in everything in life!!! I know that sounds cliche, but I truly applaud you for wanting to better yourself. It’s never easy and is very tough, but you won’t regret it.

  • 17. Lisa Herly  |  July 25, 2016 at 5:58 am

    Thanks for sharing such a nice blog with us. I am also a Foster parents and faced same problem on first day but luckily I met with UK Fostering which will help me a lot and gave proper training to come out from this problem.

  • 18. Edward Gioja  |  July 22, 2016 at 11:39 am

    This is a great list. I would like to share on my page. I always link original source and FaceBook address (if I can find it). Thank you.

  • 19. Tanja Kuhre  |  May 25, 2016 at 11:29 am

    I am a Trainer/Recruiter at a public welfare agency and would like to use your article in my Foster Parent Quarterly Newsletter. Thanks!

  • 20. Sarah Jess  |  May 2, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    I would like to use this article in our company newsletter for June, if that is okay.

  • 21. Colette Hamilton  |  April 12, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    Hi, I’m a trainer at a foster care agency and train new foster parents. Could I use share your tips with new foster parents in class and in a support group that we are having for our foster parents? Thank you!

  • 22. Diana Macis  |  April 10, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    Hi, I would love to share your advice with foster parents in a class I am teaching. The blog was aabout Top 10 things on how to make the first day easier. I hope that would be ok?

  • 23. Laura  |  April 8, 2016 at 9:22 am

    I love this! Thank you for the tips. 😊
    My mums a foster carer and we just love having kids in. Most of the time they don’t want to leave us but it’s great to be able to vist them once they are adopted and get updates on how they are.
    I can only imgaine how hard it would be for them. And I so can’t wait to adopt a child or 2 of my own oneday.

  • 24. Kim Sutherland  |  March 25, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    I know only to well how a child will feel upon entering new surroundings.I myself was a foster child, I had the unfortunate bad choice of foster parents, the positive I’m a very caring lovin mother and grandmother,and I have so much to give to other children that would a blessing to me

  • 25. Shannon Hughes  |  March 14, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    Thank you for sharing from your perspective, Its so helpful for all families taking in kids from other homes. I would love to share this with my foster/adopt support group. I will be sure to share your blog address with them. God bless you, Shannon

  • 26. Karla  |  February 27, 2016 at 10:48 am

    Hello! I found your article very moving, my husband and I run a nonprofit that works with a lot of kids who are in this situation, and we actually just became foster parents yesterday. Sharing a link to your article on our facebook page–thank you for writing this!

  • 27. Angela  |  January 29, 2016 at 9:09 am

    Hi, I really like your writing and insight. May I use this article as a source of information on temporary fostering for my Newsletter? (Safe Families for Children Kenya). I do hope that is okay. Thanks.

  • 28. When A Child Comes to Your Home | Diary of a Foster Mom  |  January 6, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    […] For more in depth information, from a previous foster child, check out Foster Parents – Top 10 Things to Make a Foster Child’s First Day Easier. I found this very insi…! […]

  • 29. JB  |  January 6, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    I see that this is a bit outdated; however, I found this post in a google search. I hope you don’t mind, I’m going to share this on my blog. I am going through the foster care liscensing process right now and I am so nervous about our first child and welcoming them into our home. I also just started a blog to share our journey. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. They are very helpful!


  • 30. Brittany Terry  |  December 8, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    I am writing a paper in my college writing calls trying to persuade people to help make a bigger difference in the lives of foster care and orphan children and would love to input some of your tips on the simple things people can do. It would add a lot to my paper that I was able to find thoughts from a foster child.

  • 31. Jim  |  December 2, 2015 at 5:06 am

    Info sangat menarik, sukses ya mas.. ,

  • 32. cathie  |  November 22, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    I would love to use this the Ten Things List in my foster parents newsletter.

  • 33. janeyc70  |  November 14, 2015 at 7:02 am

    Great site we are going to panel soon. I was looking for advice on a welcome book and came across this blog. I will be following with great interest.

  • 34. Livy Kimbell  |  October 13, 2015 at 10:23 am

    Hey there, we love your blog, so have popped it on our site to help bring a child’s perspective to foster care. A direct link to this page has been added at the bottom. Let us know if you don’t want your content on our site.

  • 35. chrissy  |  September 15, 2015 at 10:55 am

    Thank you so much. My family are in the process of becoming foster carers and I need as much information as possible. Easy to get scared about all the issues a child may bring because of their past. so go
    od to hear from someone who knows what it is really like. so many practical and commonsense suggestions. i will look this page up again.

  • 36. Texas  |  September 14, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    i love this article, I work with new foster parents and I want them to know the requests of a child who has been through this loss and your article will help them to see if from your perspective and it will help them to prepare their minds and hearts! 🙂 Thank you for this blog.

  • 37. ktmccleery  |  July 22, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    Reblogged this on Patchwork Farm and commented:
    Tomorrow we celebrate Tyler’s “Gotcha Day,” the anniversary of the day he became a McCleery. It is hard to believe it has been two years. (Three since he moved in.)
    In so many ways it feels like he has always been here.
    As we celebrate this special day I have been reflecting on my own approach through that transitional time of his life (and Ozzie’s.) We began the adoption journey feeling confident that we knew…we understood…only to realize over time how little we did know.
    We really didn’t get it.
    As much as we tried to empathize and do right by these two little boys we have learned how much we did wrong.
    I try to be forgiving of myself. I did the best I knew how to do with the limited life experience I brought to the table.
    The biggest realization I have had over the last year is how insensitive we were to the emotions our boys were feeling when they joined our family.
    We knew we loved them, and would never hurt them. We knew they were safe and that this placement was a good thing, but we didn’t consider the fact that they shared none of that same knowledge.
    It wasn’t until recently, with some of our conversations at therapy with Tina and the reading of “Three Little Words” by Ashley Rhodes-Courter, (an AMAZING read for anyone!) that I had my “Ah-ha moment.”
    I finally got it. I got some insight into my boys’ thoughts…
    I understood the unwillingness to unpack.
    I understood why peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were so unappealing.
    I finally understood their:
    “need to know where the bathrooms were at each home we visited…right away…before we greeted our hosts…anxiety.”
    The sleepless nights…the possessiveness over the toys…the fear of the social worker pulling down the driveway…
    Suddenly it all made sense and I felt SO BAD.
    I didn’t get it and I wish I could go back in time and do better.
    I would be more attentive. I would expect less. I would assume nothing. I wouldn’t take it personally.
    A friend shared this article and I was impressed by the advice given.
    Reading this came on the tail of this week’s therapy session in which Ozzie shared with us the memories of the night he was taken into foster care. He shared the fear he felt as he was taken from his home. He remembers the police lights and the smell of Subway sandwiches in the car of the social worker. He recalls not being able to get his toy cars from the house before being taken away, and being driven to a strangers house to sleep. He shared the anxiety he felt about not knowing where the bathroom was and his indignation over being put to bed as soon as he arrived without being shown around the house or being told what happened to his parents. He talked of laying in bed, in a strange room, and not getting to see where his sister was sleeping…
    and being afraid to go to sleep for fear she would be gone in the morning.
    As he shared his memories I couldn’t hold back the tears. I can’t even imagine a seven year old having to brave such a scary experience, and yet this is the reality for so, so many children every single day.

    These words of wisdom are such simple suggestions but could make such an impact.
    What a difference these simple gestures could have on a child facing the same scary situation my boys did…
    I just had to share.

  • 38. World Wide Wednesday, July 22, 2015 | The Coalition  |  July 22, 2015 at 7:22 am

    […] Top 10 Things to Make a Foster Child’s First Day Easier: Little things matter and set the tone for things to come. […]

  • 39. LooneyTunes  |  July 15, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    hi Tammy,
    sure you can hand them out. just mention a link to my blog.

  • 40. LooneyTunes  |  July 15, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    hi Andrew,
    you can print it. just please put a link to the blog.

  • 41. Andrew Martin  |  July 15, 2015 at 9:56 am

    I want to get your permission to put this in a foster parent handbook that I am creating for a local child placing agency in Richmond Virginia. I also train perspective foster parents and provide ongoing training to foster parents and I think this would make a great handout for them to review. May I have your permission to do so? I look forward to hearing from you – Andrew Martin

  • 42. Tammy Franges  |  July 14, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Hello, I train prospective foster parents and am a foster parent myself. I would love to make copies of the Ten Things and hand them out at training. May I have your permission to do so?

  • 43. Janice  |  June 30, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    I have been a foster parent for years and these kids are broken. Expect the unexpected it is not easy. They will push you to your limits and also test you. They do not trust anyone and they have been lied to most of their lives so you have to earn their trust. Make sure you lock up what you value as they do not have that filter of what is right or wrong. It takes time and sometimes years if you end up adopting them. I have adopted three of my foster children (all siblings). Good luck with anyone who wants to take on this task. Like I said It is a lot of work.

  • 44. AShley  |  June 30, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    i would love to be in foster care becauise my mom drinkes and smokes and does verbal abuise

  • 45. natalie  |  June 29, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    I would like to share this blog with other foster parents

  • 46. Jacqueline  |  June 23, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    My 5 sons are grown 25-39. One was a foster child who came to us and never left :). I am planning on turning my home into a foster care home even though I am now a young fit 60. I would love to be a loving grandmother figure. I’ll start by submitting my information again, then take the classes, and renervate my home to comfortable keep 6 children safe. I will have a part time person come and help make mornings more manageable. So we can start the day with a smile. Obviously I will take one child at a time so each child can get comfortable before the next one comes. I’m so excited just thinking about it. Thank you for this helpful site. I’m sure I’ll be back again and again.

  • 47. Andrea Sweinhart  |  June 17, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    My husband and I are in the process of becoming foster parents, something I feel is my calling, I love the tips… I think your wonderful for sharing, its nice to have advice that obviously will help a child of any age be more comfortable.
    Thank you! I would like a copy of this, and any other foster articles as well. It would benefit my home and foster care skills to have it close by to remind me of the little things that make a big difference on those first day/night. Your thoughtful and insightful, have a blessed day.

  • 48. lboyd544  |  June 13, 2015 at 9:27 am

    thank you and for allowing us to share with fostering community!

  • 49. LooneyTunes  |  June 12, 2015 at 9:59 pm


  • 50. Becky Jackson  |  June 11, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    HI! Thanks for the perspective from a foster child’s view. May I use this on the One Church One Child Facebook page?

  • 51. LooneyTunes  |  June 9, 2015 at 11:01 am

    Sure thing.

  • 52. Linda Giusti  |  June 8, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    This is great advice and so necessary for new foster parents and a great reminder for more experienced foster parents. I would love to include this in our foster parent training, in our newsletter and our our Facebook page.

  • 53. Fiona Dorse  |  June 6, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    It is really difficult for a foster child to ‘like’ their new parents, as even if they have been abused, they feel disloyal to their parents if they beging to have new feelings of ‘liking you’. It is just not natural for ANY of us to like other sets of parents more than our own so this is a HUGE struggle for foster children! You should sit them down and say that you are going to be as nice and kind to them as they make it possible for you to be and therefore they are going to find that they start liking you or have fun with you etc. which does NOT mean that they are being disloyal to their own parents just that in life there are certain people that you like, like a favourite teacher or favourite friend etc. therefore one does not have to feel guilty as even in families some people get on better with others but they ALL love each other at the end of the day.
    It is also EXTREMELY difficult for a foster child to like someone with different smell, face, movements, voicetone, facial expressions etc. than their own parents and family unit. This is the most difficult part of all as we all KNOW who our parents are! That is why we look like them! Even if we grow up apart from them our body structures are still the same and therefore we move like them and will have character traits like them as the saying goes, the apple does not fall far from the tree.
    If one is confident enough one can even offer for them to chose a photo frame and put a photo of their biological parents next to their bed if they so chose so that their parents become part of the household but are not intrusive. I do not think that their parents should be referred to as ‘your bio parents’ or any other such lable! They are ‘your parents’ and we are “Mum and Dad’ or ‘Jack and Jill’. You are there to teach them manners and etiquette! So start by being a good example.
    I have had extensive exposure to this so I do hope that my thoughts are appreciated.

  • 54. Ky Dols  |  April 1, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    HI I would love to be abl;e to share your words with our foater carers if this is possible I have given them the blog address in our newsletter
    thanks so much

  • 55. Mary  |  March 23, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    I would like to use this for training at Joy Ranch, A Christian Home for Children.

  • 56. My little caravan School Holiday craft activities for children  |  February 27, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    My little caravan School Holiday craft activities for children

    Foster Parents – Top 10 Things to Make a Foster Child’s First Day Easier | I Was A Foster Kid

  • 57. Cliff Farnsworth  |  February 27, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    Hello, I am a Foster Parent Trainer in Utah. I would like to share your 10 tips with foster parents in my area in our monthly newsletter. Please respond and let me know if that would be okay. Thanks for your insights.

  • 58. Sharon Nichols  |  February 22, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    Hi! I am a foster care social worker in North Carolina. I would really like to print this to share with our foster parents (can never have too much good info) and with some of my foster kids (to get their input and see if they have additional thoughts). Would you be okay for me to do this? Thanks. Hope you are doing well.

  • 59. Virgilia Coriolanus  |  February 21, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    Hi, just wanted to say I wrote a blog post based on your article….more like a reaction piece. Please check it out 🙂

  • 60. Krisshetta  |  January 28, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    Thank you for this wonderful information, I would like to know if I can use this in paperwork as a what to know for the first 24-48 hours.

  • 61. gale  |  November 17, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Would love to reference this material and blog when I meet with our local foster parent support group. Thanks for your wisdom!

  • 62. LooneyTunes  |  November 12, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    sure. just cite the blog.

  • 63. Bev. Skiles  |  November 12, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    We have an orphanage in Taiwan and I was very blessed by your ways to help make a foster child feel at home. God bless.

  • 64. Della Carpenter  |  November 12, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    Hi, I am a Recruitment and Certification Worker and I would love to share this list with the resource parents I work with, especially new ones. Please let me know if this is OK.

    Thanks, and God Bless.

  • 65. Dan Ort-Patrick  |  November 11, 2014 at 11:58 am

    This is great advice. We are in the process of foster-adopt and waiting for our approval letter. Out of everything involved in the process my biggest worry has been “that first day” as I know it will be scary for me I can only imagine how the child feels. I want to do everything that I possibly can to make that transistion as smooth as possible. Thanks for your great perspective of what we can do to make that first day and any day a little easier.

  • 66. Emmaly  |  October 29, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    I just had really good friend move because of foster care and this helped me know how he felt and I really will miss him

  • 67. digestive disorders symptoms  |  October 23, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    Admiring the persistence you put into your blog and in depth information you
    provide. It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same outdated rehashed material.
    Great read! I’ve saved your site and I’m including your RSS
    feeds to my Google account.

  • 68. Raychel  |  October 11, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    Why would she want you to write articles for her? If you want traffic on your own blog then work on making it interesting yourself – instead of trying to take a ride on someone else’s.

  • 69. Fran  |  October 9, 2014 at 8:23 am

    Hi, My husband and I are in the process of becoming foster parents, and I found what you wrote to be very helpful. May I share it with the other members of our group?

  • 70. Chantal B. Johnsey  |  October 7, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    Please let me know if you’re looking for a article
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  • 71. Britany W. Kahle  |  October 6, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    What’s up mates, its fantastic paragraph about cultureand entirely defined, keep it up
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  • 72. Georgiana  |  August 30, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Hi there to every one, it’s genuinely a pleasant for me
    to pay a quick visit this web page, it contains priceless Information.

  • 73. Carrie Stanford Buhler  |  August 22, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    I’m glad I found your site. We are adopting a child from foster care and we can use all the help we can get for making his transition as painless and comfortable as we can.

  • 74. christmas toy  |  August 12, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about christmas
    toy. Regards

  • 75. Laura Kela  |  July 24, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    Hi, I really appreciate you sharing your insight in regards to foster care. I would love to share this list with the foster parents that I am training. It is a great resource for our families to know so that they can be better foster parents.

  • 76. Deborah Wolff  |  July 6, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Hi – thank you for your work – I would love to give this information to the foster parents in the program I run….Do I have your permission? You will be acknowledged!!! I will also be using it to encourage our foster children to share their own experiences with being welcomed during group.

  • 77. Jessica  |  June 18, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Hello- I am a foster parent training manager in Ohio. It would be great to pass this out at our foster parent trainings. It is great information to share with families! thank you!

  • 78. Christy  |  June 10, 2014 at 8:48 am

    I am a foster care worker in Virginia. I would love to be able to share your insight and words with our foster parents. Do I have your permission?

  • 79. Christyna  |  May 28, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    I am a CPS foster home developer would also like to use as a handout in training and to give to new foster parents. I love your blog it is very informative and inspiring.

  • 80. Celia  |  May 28, 2014 at 8:41 am

    I would like to quote your 10 points in my CDWP homework as an example of how to “Develop Positive Relationships with Children, Young People and Others Involved in Their Care” as it is the most direct feedback I have come across on the subject. I hope that this is ok?

  • 81. Kaye  |  April 2, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    I would also like to use this information for a group of new Foster Carers in thier training

  • 82. Pam Sokol  |  March 4, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    Hi, I would like to use your blog as part of initial training for new foster parents.

  • 83. Jennifer  |  January 27, 2014 at 11:39 am

    I lead a foster parent support group. With your permission, I would like to use information from your blog! 🙂

  • 84. Marlene  |  January 25, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    Thank you for this, I would like to share this

  • 85. berni  |  December 31, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    thank you for your very valuable information,, can i have your permission to print and share with people like me who are becoming first time foster parents

  • 86. the90tenproject  |  October 31, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    I would like your permission to link to this as a resource on my blog. I think it will really help a lot of people. Please let me know if you are okay with that. 🙂

  • 87. Patricia Prieto  |  October 17, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    This is great. I am the Area Director for a Child Placing Agency and with your authorization, would love to provide this to my foster parents or at least go over it with them to help make the child’s first day easier.

    Thank you.

  • 88. toy information  |  October 16, 2013 at 5:51 pm

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  • 89. Christyna  |  October 9, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    I am a foster home worker with CPS and with your permission be able to share this with our new foster parents.

  • 90. Karen R.  |  October 1, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Hello, if okay, I would like to share this post with my fellow classmates in our foster training class – it’s such a great post!

  • 91. Fostersurvivor  |  September 30, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    Unless that child was forced into having pornographic pictures taken of them. Do NOT take pictures of a foster child unless they express a desire to have it taken. It can be a massive trigger to them. I like the idea of a thumbprint wall. One of my foster parents had a handprint wall. That is a memory that I will always cherish. I knew that no matter what happened after that, I had left my mark in that home. They WOULD remember me.

  • 92. Karen Stogner  |  September 23, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    Thank you so much for this very informative blog. My husband and I are empty nesters and are waiting the ok to foster my cousins children. We are excited and terrified! Thank you again.

  • 93. Karen Howell  |  September 23, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Great information. I am creating training material for foster parents and this is very helpful. Although, I am a former foster parent and have some ideas and a little knowledge about what I think was helpful, I am grateful for your input. Thanks also for others to use your information. Have you ever thought about wiriting a book about your experiences or getting into the social work field?

  • 94. Sarah Redecker Sarich  |  August 25, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    We have a kid with anger issues right now. Since she has a history of destroying things at other placements, we don’t want her even hitting pillows. What we did is we bought a punching bag for the household. This way, the kids are hitting something that is supposed to be hit.

  • 95. Sarah Redecker Sarich  |  August 25, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    I always take a first day picture. I take in older kids, so I have to always assume they are a flight risk. I don’t make a big deal of it, though, and they soon find out that I like taking pictures. When they leave, they get a cd or printouts of every picture I have of them.

  • 96. SwanSwan  |  July 3, 2013 at 1:01 am

    Hi, I’m doing something kinda similar to foster care, called Safe Families. I think this list would be really helpful for families who are hosting for the first time. Would I be able to include it for the families that I coach?

  • 97. Michelle  |  June 26, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Thank you so much. We are awaiting a phone call to place two little boys in our home. I cried reading this. I really want them to remember there time with us as a good one. I wrote it all down. I heard somewhere that I should give them something, like a stuffed animal, when they arrive. What do you think? Will this help too?

  • 98. Kim Rhodes  |  June 23, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    LOVE THIS..Would like to have your permission to share with my homefinder and my Foster parent association in WV

  • 99. JGH  |  June 3, 2013 at 9:51 am

    I’d like to share your tips to other foster families, with your permission, please. I appreciate your insight and willingness to share, I am sure it will help others who truly want to help children in foster care.

  • 100. Carol Campbell  |  May 8, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Your insight and honesty are wonderful. I am the supervisor of a program that supports foster and adoptive parents and I would love to have my staff be able to share this imfo with your permission. Keep on writing!

  • 101. A Bump, A Hiccup, A Rough Patch | The Stacy Chronicles  |  May 8, 2013 at 10:23 am

    […] You can check out our adoption timeline if your interested in what we specifically went through for foster classes.  Here, here, here, here, are other links about foster care on my blog.  Also, I found this helpful link about how to make your foster child’s first day/night great…you can see that here. […]

  • 102. Renee  |  April 30, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    I would love to share this article with our preservice class with your permission.

  • 103. gwn  |  April 15, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    Pillows you are allowed to destroy–fantastic idea. Those air-filled punching toys always freaked me out, though. Unsatisfying to hit and they just floated back up. Made me feel ineffective and irrelevant, and the anger just multiplied. I was the sort to squash anger until i didn’t feel it, though, so I just turned away from them. (I didn’t have one. a neighbor kid did. there was a brief, hopeful moment of encountering something I was allowed to hit but then it made me feel worse)

    so i just want to add if you buy your foster kid one of those to deal with anger and they eventually tackle it, puncture it, and wrestle the air out until the fucker stays down, that’s maybe a good sign. Or at least not a bad one.

  • 104. Kim Alsager Custance  |  April 1, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    are you ok with me printing this off to take to work to share with ministry workers and foster parents?

  • 105. Addison Cooper  |  April 1, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    This is really, really good. I’m a former fost/adopt supervisor; I’ll share it with my previous agency!

  • 106. Marie Schwartz  |  March 4, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    I am a foster care supervisor. Could I copy this for our new foster parents so that they might have some insight on how children are feeling and how to make their first day better?

  • 107. Christina  |  February 27, 2013 at 12:03 am

    May I please reprint this for use to help foster parents? I work at an agency in Tucson, AZ.

  • 108. Angela Sirak  |  January 24, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    This is such great advice! I work at an adoption and foster care agency and am responsible for training and approving prospecitive families. Would I be able to share some of your information with our families?

  • 109. Jacquie  |  December 20, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Thank you for the suggestions. I am a new Foster parent and I am looking for all the information I can find to make this a good experience for the kids who will soon be in my care.

  • 110. Katie Page Sander  |  December 17, 2012 at 8:36 am

    May I please reprint this for use to help foster parents in the state of Michigan? We are a statewide program aimed at helping new foster parents get through the process of becoming licensed and I think your list is great.

  • 111. Lyndon  |  November 27, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    Hi. What a fantastic blog! Im a social work student in a child protection team, and I was wondering if i could give this information to some of the foster carers we work with?

  • 112. Angela  |  November 18, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    I had to re-read this and the one on mothers because we are finally getting our teen from a group home placed with us after several weeks of visits. We pushed very hard to have the placement done before Thanksgiving and it will happen this Tuesday! So nervous! Keeping you in mind and all your tips. Stay healthy and keep pushing forward.

  • 113. LooneyTunes  |  October 23, 2012 at 1:22 am

    hi Kim.
    good luck. i hope some of the tips help.
    just remember to try to engage the kids instead of isolating them.

  • 114. Kim  |  October 22, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    LT, I found this blog by accident, but I am SOOO glad I did…thank you. My husband and I were just licensed a couple of weeks ago, and we are waiting on our first placement..I was researching how to make things easier on our kids when they came into our home, how to help them through it all…and I found this blog. I read. And read. And read. And I am still reading. Thank you for sharing. You have made a difference to us all.

  • 115. Mitzi  |  September 25, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Thank you for sharing all your insight. I was a foster parent and am an adoptive and bio parent. I teach the state required classes for those wanting to be foster/adoptive parents in Kansas. I would like your permission to share your writing with those taking the class.

  • 116. Mr. and Mrs.  |  July 14, 2012 at 12:05 am

    In our family we have a thumbprint tree and every guest whether family or dear friend gets to stamp their thumbprint and then sign their name. Maybe it would be a great idea to do a fun picture tree. Of course I don’t see all kids willing to participate especially if they are having a really bad night. :/

  • 117. Natasha  |  June 17, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this! We are just starting the process to adopt a sibling group out of our province’s foster care system. These tips will be helpful on their first day in our home too.

  • […] list of posts that are geared towards foster parents and things we can do better. I found these Top 10 Things to Make a Foster Child’s First Day Easier to be especially helpful. It got me thinking about how I want to set up some things in the bedroom […]

  • 119. Brie  |  May 9, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    My husband and I just recieved our Foster Parent lisence yesterday and we are waiting for our first child. I found this site, and I am so glad for your tips. I was also able to share it with my extended family who live in town too, and they love all of the information too.

  • 120. LooneyTunes  |  May 3, 2012 at 1:18 am

    hi. its ok to use my blogs. please just put the link to my blog, so maybe the FPs will come and join in.
    hope they help. there are some with other tips too and some games and stuff. peace.

  • 121. Kelsey Raudszus  |  May 1, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Hi! I was reading your post and was hoping maybe I could use some of your blogs as teaching tools for a foster parent support group that I will be holding. Please let me know, I think it will really help! Thanks!

  • 122. Ashlea  |  April 10, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    I am looking to adopt through the foster care system. Thank you for this, I am sure it will help me when we welcome our child into our home. It will also help me prepare for my home studies.

  • 123. Carolyn  |  March 27, 2012 at 2:23 am

    I just stumbled on this blog while researching how to become a foster parent and adopt through foster parenting. I have been researching for about 1 year on how to be a great foster parent and never came across the point of view from the most important person that mattered. That being a foster child. I am so greatful for this blog. Thank you so much. You matter and so does every child and pet and anyone who’s vulnerable and left at the mercy of others to do the right thing all of the time. I made it my mission to help people as much as possible so their children and pets don’t suffer as a consequence. I want to give back to society and help make the world a better place.
    What better way to do this than through adopting through fostering for me. You’ve answered so many questions I only dreamed that a foster child would want to make the move permanent. I had no idea. Thank you again. Can’t wait for new blogs and to catch up with your other ones. You are very bright and talented and insightful. Great things are ahead in your life. Stay the course. :))

  • 124. Mom Meets Blog  |  March 9, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    My husband and I just finished a foster parent training and these tips are so helpful – I will be returning to this blog often.

  • 125. Jamie  |  February 12, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    MC – Your question about having pictures of foster kids is a good one. I would love to her L.Ts response to this too.

    Do you have a digital camera that is not super breakable or super expensive? Cameras can be FANTASTIC toys, especially in a new or uncomfortable situation. Small kids might like for you to take their picture and then let them see it in the view screen over and over (and over and over and over!) again! Older kids might like to play dress up with you and take turns taking pictures of each others costumes. Another fun camera project is to take all the stuffed animals and action figures and create story board scenes and take pictures as the story progresses. You can even load those pictures on a computer, add text and print out your foster child’s very own book! I would imagine you would get a good shot or two of your foster child having fun and interacting, but I wouldn’t push them to be in front of the camera if they don’t want to be.
    If you only have them for a day or so, standing them up for a formal “mug shot” picture may seem a little clerical or clinical to the child and not be a good situation, but if they warm up to the camera though play they might really enjoy having their picture taken.

  • […] “Foster Parents.  This is for you…from a FOSTER CHILD’S PERSPECTIVE on how to make the first day easier”.  Quoted from:  ”I was a Foster kid“   […]

  • 127. MC  |  July 18, 2011 at 7:51 am

    What are your feelings about foster parents taking pictures? When is too soon? I am a hotline/emergency foster parent so I take kids in that first night and they only stay 12 hours at most. I want to remember these children as they are all special to me but I don’t want to be presumptuous by expecting that I, a stranger, am entitled to take their picture for MY memories. Shall I just make do with knowing their names? Their needs come first and foremost.

  • 128. Sara  |  September 23, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Thank you for that wonderful post!! My husband and I are in the process of becoming foster parents and are excited to finish the process and welcome kids into our home.

    I can’t imagine how scary it must be to suddenly be living in a stranger’s home. Thank you for sharing some ways to make it a little less frightening!!!

  • 129. Kristine  |  April 20, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    What a powerful post! I work for a foster familiies association in Canada. I am wondering if I could have permission to put this post in our newsletter, which is distributed to all foster parents in the province. I believe that this is valuable information for our parents. Is this possible?

  • 130. Sandra  |  February 26, 2010 at 12:17 am

    These are so great! This would be a good handout for foster parenting classes. I like #2 — it helps us keep in mind to allow the children to look around. It is a strange place to them and safety means different things to each child.

    Think about blogging more with notes to foster parents like this. We try, but we can’t really know what it feels like to be in “your” shoes.

    Thanks for this!

  • 131. Siobhan  |  February 25, 2010 at 7:13 am

    I loved your point about having other children in the home show a new child around…..I have watched children enter my home scared and withdrawn, then blossom within days based on how the other kiddos were acting. They saw that the children who had been here awhile were able to help themselves to food, toys, bathroom, etc without fear and were soon following suit.

    Of course, most of my kids have been toddlers, but even a 4yo would be thrilled at being the one to welcome a new child!

    Thanks for a wonderful post with terrific advice!

  • 132. Leigh  |  February 24, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Wow, thanks for posting this! I work at a group home and there were some things on this that have never even crossed my mind.

  • 133. rebecca  |  February 22, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    What a great post – thank you. I should have my first placement in about 2 weeks, and this is a great reminder for me.

  • 134. JC  |  February 15, 2010 at 12:46 am

    You have a kind heart sharing these tips. Nothing better than coming from the “eyes of the foster child.”

    Good tips, especially #1– the first introduction is so important and meeting children at their level always helps!

  • 135. Lenetta @ Nettacow  |  February 14, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    I thought this was a very moving post! I don’t know what the future holds for our family, but I’ve had foster parenting tugging at my heart since I was in college. One of my rosary intentions is for little ones (and those who aren’t quite so little) who are in sad family situations. I linked to this on my weekly roundup, the post is under my name. Thanks so much for writing it!

  • 136. Annabelle  |  February 1, 2010 at 12:50 am

    Thank you for posting this, LT. This was some of the most important advice I ever received, hands down.


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I know that means you can’t take my writing without my permission. If you do, something can happen.
Plus, that is just a real shitty thing to do — take someone’s thoughts — so don’t do it!

I am happy if you want to use my writing to help those involved in the foster care system, but please, leave a comment asking if it is ok and letting me know.


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