Foster/Foster-Adopt

5 Tips for Making a New Foster Child Feel Welcome in Your Home

Here are some tips for welcoming a new foster or adoptive child into your home from foster-adopt expert Trey Rabun

Welcoming a child into your home though foster care or adoption can be exciting, but it's also a challenging, time. However, there are several things you can do to help make the transition smoother for the new child and your family. Check out these tips from Trey Rabun, Amara's Family Outreach Specialist and a Gays With Kids' Expert on foster-adopt.


1. Plan a Transition

If applicable, have a gradual transition from the child's current placement to your home. Start with day visits, increase to overnight visits, and then move the child permanently into your home. The hope is to transfer the attachment/bond from the current caregiver to the new one. Having a transition also allows for contact with the pervious caregiver which gets you access to valuable information about the child's likes and dislikes, their sleep and feeding schedule, and toiletries (soap, lotion, etc.) used so you recreate the same smells and scents in your home. The goal is to create a similar routine and schedule in your home to minimize the level of change being experienced by the child.

2. Be Flexible

Your family will be going through a lot of change in the first few days, weeks, and months so it's natural that things won't always go to plan…and that's o.k.! In the first few days keep things simple and set rules only around respect and safety, and overtime slowly add more expectations around the child's behaviors and rules in the home. Remember everything to the child is "new" and it will take some time for them to start feeling comfortable and secure in your home.

3. Be Open to Learning

Most foster and adopted children have experienced some level of trauma. This often requires new ways of thinking about parenting and discipline. For example, the traditional parenting method of Time-Outs can often exacerbate feelings of rejection and abandonment in vulnerable children. However, Time-Ins are a great alternative to use when dealing with undesirable behaviors.

4. Take Into Account a Child's Thoughts and Opinions

For older children, letting them have some ownership in the move is a good way to help minimize the stress of a transition. The extent of the child's involvement will range depending on their age, but for an elementary aged child you can, for example, take them to the store and allow them to pick out their new sheets and blankets with their favorite cartoon character. You can also ask what their favorite foods are and have them stocked up on the child's first day in the home. For a teenager, have frequent check-ins around how they are feeling and make changes to the transition plan (either slow down or speed up) based on their comfort with the pace of the transition.

5. Create a Support Network

Becoming a foster or adoptive parent has its unique joys and challenges, and talking to other families going through the same experiences can be a great resource. Join the support group at your agency or create a parenting group in your neighborhood for other foster and adoptive families. Your friends and families will be a wonderful support system too, but being in a room of other parents who share the same feelings of joy, excitement, angst, and frustration will be invaluable!

For more information please access websites below:

https://cherish.kindering.org/resources/

https://adoption.com/welcoming-your-new-foster-child

http://www.fccy.org/blog/foster-care-pa/ways-to-make-foster-kids-feel-welcome-in-a-new-home-part-1/

https://www.dcp.wa.gov.au/ChildProtection/ChildAbuseAndNeglect/Documents/ChildDevelopmentAndTraumaGuide.pdf

http://www.pcafamilies.org.au/uploaded-files/Time-in-versus-Time-Out-FINAL_1398130593.pdf









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News

New York Will Fight 'Repugnant' Trump Rule on Adoption, Says Cuomo

Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York promises legal action of the Trump administration moves ahead with plans to allow discrimination against LGBTQ adoptive and foster parents

Last week, the Trump administration announced plans to allow adoption and foster care agencies to discriminate against prospective LGBTQ parents — but he may face a legal fight from (former) hometown. In a tweet, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York said the proposed move "isn't just discriminatory and repugnant to our values,— it's also heartless and dumb as it would deny countless children a loving family and a safe place to call home." If the proposal moves forward, he continued. "we'll take legal action to stop it.

Governor Cuomo's office followed up the tweet with a lengthier statement posted to their website:

Once again the Trump administration is attacking the hard-earned rights and protections of the LGBTQ community, this time proposing a new measure that would give foster care and adoption agencies license to discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Trump's proposal isn't just discriminatory and repugnant to our values — it's also heartless and dumb as it would deny countless children a loving family and a safe place to call home. If he moves forward with this rule, we'll take legal action to stop it.

No matter what happens in Washington, New York State is and will continue to be a beacon of equality in this country. Our Human Rights Law and adoption regulations expressly prohibit discrimination against the LGBTQ community, including when it comes to adoption. I encourage any LGBTQ New Yorker who feels they are a victim of this discrimination to contact the State Division of Human Rights for assistance.

Our message to the Trump administration is simple: there is no place for hate in New York or in our nation, and we will not allow this noxious proposal to stop LGBTQ New Yorkers from becoming parents or providing care to children in need.

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Trump Administration to Allow Discrimination Against LGBTQ Foster and Adoptive Parents

In its latest move against the LGBTQ community, the Trump administration has proposed a rule that will give adoption and foster care agencies license to discriminate on the basis of religion

On Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services proposed a new rule to reverse an Obama-era policy prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity — allowing foster and adoption agencies to legally refuse to work with prospective adoptive and foster parents who identify as LGBTQ on the grounds of religious belief.

Denise Brogan-Kator, speaking to the New York Times, said the proposal would have an "enormous" impact on the LGBTQ community, noting that all organizations that get funding from the department will be "free to discriminate."

The White House, for its part, proclaimed the proposed rule was promoting "religious freedom," saying in a statement that "the federal government should not be in the business of forcing child welfare providers to choose between helping children and their faith."

As the New York Times pointed out, LGBTQ couples with children are far likely than different-sex couples to be raising adopted children. This move in support of so-called "religious freedom," then, will merely negatively impact the more than 400,000 children currently in the foster care system by denying them loving homes with LGBTQ individuals and couples.

Read more about this rule here. We'll be sure to keep readers up to speed as this issue develops.

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