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How to prepare your home for a foster child

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First-time foster parent? Wondering how you should prepare your home for your new foster child’s arrival? From our first-time foster parent shopping list to ways to make your house as safe and welcoming as possible, our helpful guide has you covered.

What to buy for foster care

Part of preparing your home for a foster child is ensuring you’ve bought everything necessary for the foster child to move in and feel as comfortable as possible. They should arrive in your home to all of their basic items there, ready for them to use. Unsure what they’ll need? Our first-time foster parent shopping list has you covered:

Bed and bedding

Consider the age of the child you’re fostering. A single bed is recommended for children aged 3+, whereas for a child any younger, you may need to consider buying a cot. Find gender neutral bedding, as it’s hard to guess exactly what theme or colour they will want.

Toiletries

If your new foster child’s toiletries and personal hygiene items are there ready for them to use as soon as they move in, this will help them feel more comfortable more quickly in their new home:

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Hairbrush
  • Towels
  • Soap/shower gel
  • Shampoo/conditioner

If your new foster child is a teenager, or reaching puberty, they may also need:

  • Deodorant
  • Feminine products

Also, if your new foster child is a baby, ensure you’re well stocked up on nappies!

Clothes

If you can gather information on the foster child before you meet them, such as their clothes size, likes and dislikes, it could be a nice touch to buy a few clothes for them before they move in. However, if you’re not confident about this, it may be worth waiting until you’ve got to know them better, or you can take them on a shopping trip to buy some when they move in. In the meantime, buying some plain t-shirts, underwear and socks is a good place to start.

Comfort items

Depending on their age, your foster child may benefit having some comfort items bought for them. This could be a fluffy toy, a doll, or even a comfortable blanket they can cosy up in. Again, it may be worth waiting until they move in before you choose this item – as it’s hard to predict their likes and dislikes before getting to know them.

Making your home as safe and welcoming as possible

  • Clean and tidy – bringing a foster child into a home that may seem untidy may not be the best way to make them feel relaxed and at home. Ensure your house is as clean and tidy as possible, as untidiness may suggest chaos and disorder, which children are likely to pick up on.
  • Medications – medications and chemicals should be locked away or out of the reach of young child. This should include cleaning products, laundry detergents, painkillers and allergy tablets.
  • Move sentimental items – any fragile items or items that have sentimental value should be moved out of reach of young children.
  • Secure windows and doors – if windows and doors can be opened easily by young children, it’s important to ensure these have a child safety catch, or are locked at all times to ensure safety.
  • Stock the cupboards – predicting your foster child’s food preference can be tricky, so it’s recommended you keep a variety of items in the cupboards, so you can easily rustle something up when they’re settled.
  • Setting up their bedroom - possibly the most important aspect of preparing your home for a foster child is planning their bedroom. Learn foster child bedroom ideas and tips from our helpful guide.

And, of course, the team here at Capstone Foster Care are on hand 24 hours a day – we offer full support and extensive fostering training prior to your placement, so you’ll feel thoroughly prepared for the placement before it begins. Get in touch with any queries you have regarding what to buy for foster care placements.

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