How to Prepare Your Home for the Arrival of a New Foster Child

How to Prepare Your Home for the Arrival of a New Foster Child

Photo by Paige Cody on UnsplashHow to Prepare Your Home for the Arrival of a New Foster ChildGetting the news that a new foster child is going to enter your home is always exciting. It gives you an incredible opportunity to have a powerful impact on that child’s life. That starts by making them feel as “at home” as possible. If you’ve never had a foster child in your home before, the task of preparing your home can feel a little daunting at first. But, don’t let it worry you. By focusing on making your space inviting, safe, and fun, you can create the ideal environment for the child (no matter their age), and help them to feel welcome right away. As a foster parent, it’s okay to need a little help and advice sometimes. The more you’re willing to learn about what you can do, the better. With that in mind, let’s cover a

Helping Older Foster Children Gain Job Skills

Helping Older Foster Children Gain Job SkillsParenting older children is difficult. During adolescence, teenagers’ brains struggle to self-regulate as they experience greater highs and deeper lows. At the same time, your child faces more environmental stress as they make major life decisions while moving through periods of great physical change.Helping your teenager regain a sense of control during this stressful period is important. One way to help them navigate this combination of hormonal fluctuation and environmental stress is to plan for the future by developing job skills. However, talking about jobs with your child can be frustrating. As parents, the best way to move through this frustration is to be positive and proactive. Research shows that positive interactions between parents and children will improve your child’s overall competence and lead to better outcomes for you both. As such, it is vital that you listen to your older child, and try to

Princess for a Day 2021

13th Annual Princess for a DayIt is important for children and youth to know how special they are, and AFFEC has put together many events to do just that, one of which has been put on for 12 years. Upcoming on August 15th is the 13th annual Princess for a Day event!This royal event will be hosted at the Valley River Inn in Eugene, Oregon, on Sunday August 15th, 2021. A Family for Every Child will be providing this event as an opportunity for children from foster care and the community to be treated royally and make special lasting memories. It will be held from 10am to 5pm, with delightful royal activities including meet and greets with princesses, a red carpet photoshoot and a royal tea party. Princesses will have the opportunity to get their hair and makeup done, and get dressed up in a gown with a tiara and

How to Identify Signs of Trauma in Children

    A Family For Every Child Image Source: UnsplashHow to Identify Signs of Trauma in ChildrenIt’s estimated that nearly 35 million children in the U.S. have experienced some type of traumatic event in their lives. Children involved in adoption or the foster care system may make up a large percentage of that, as many of them come from traumatic circumstances. Some of those children might be struggling with symptoms of trauma without even realizing it. That’s why it’s so important to understand what those signs and symptoms are. The more you can recognize some of the physical and emotional “tells” of trauma, the sooner you can ensure a child receives the help and support they need. If you’re a parent or caretaker, you can be better equipped to take care of children, especially foster children, if you pay attention to the possible signs of trauma. With that in mind, let’s cover

Supporting Our Communities: How to assist foster kids during the pandemic

  Over the course of this year, COVID-19 has changed life as we know it. Virtually no corner of the world will be left untouched by this experience. Yet, its impact varies dramatically, even in our own country. The coronavirus has highlighted many inequalities across the U.S., as disenfranchised communities struggle to deal with the consequences of the virus both physically and economically. Among these hard hit groups are our children currently in the foster care system.  The coronavirus has drastically slowed down the process of transitioning children out of foster care and into forever families. A shutdown of government offices and facilities along with the modification of certain aspects of the foster/adoption process such as homestudies, family visits, and traveling across state has caused huge delays and left many children waiting in limbo. Although not everyone is in a position to foster or adopt at this time, there are still

The Importance of Dental Care for Foster Children

Help your foster children develop positive oral hygiene habits now for a healthier future  About 20% of children aged 5-11 have at least one untreated decayed tooth. While it might seem difficult to get the children in your care to brush, it doesn’t have to be. Supporting and encouraging your foster child to have healthy dental habits can make a positive difference in their lives and establish healthy habits down the road.Why it Matters To some parents, skipping a brushing or flossing here and there might not seem like such a big deal. After all, their baby teeth will fall out, right? While that might be true. Implementing proper dental habits into your foster child’s routine while they’re young can lead to healthy dental habits in their future, preventing heavy dental bills due to rotten teeth, gingivitis, and many other conditions associated with poor oral health.Make it Fun Regular tooth

Supporting and Encouraging Your Foster Children Beyond Aging Out

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Over 23,000 children age out of foster care each year, but many struggle to adapt to independent living as an adult. As part of the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, 25 states now offer extended foster care, and help such as financial support for young adults in work or participating in education programs. This and other schemes go some way to helping them get a good start in their adult life, but a more personal touch is also very important. As a foster parent you will most likely already have faced many transitional phases with your foster children, and, at each stage, supported them to ensure a smooth changeover. Now, whether you have stayed in touch with former foster children who are becoming adults, or you are saying goodbye to your current foster child as they leave for college, your continuing help and advice is still invaluable.Graduating

Supporting a Foster Child who was Born into a Home with Addicted Parents

The opioid epidemic is pushing more and more children into foster care, as their parents are unfit to care for them while they are bound tightly by the grips of addiction. Foster children who were born into a family with addicted parents have likely seen the unthinkable, have been forced to mature far too quickly, and have unique experiences that set them apart from other foster children. The Washington Post reports that nearly every state in the nation has seen a rise in the number of children being put into foster care directly related to opioid addiction as their parents are deemed unfit to care for their children. Perhaps the child you are fostering is an infant who was born addicted to opioids or they are an older child who has seen first hand the detrimental effects opioids can reap upon a family. Regardless of the circumstances, there are important

Age Appropriate Therapies for Foster Children

 No matter what type of situation a foster child has come from, they have the potential to thrive in a loving and nurturing home. Therapy gives a foster child the ability to regain lost ground. The most potent forms of therapy have an underlying theme of self-empowerment. Depending on the age of the child and what needs to be addressed, these methods may be used together.Cognitive-Behavioral TherapyCognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) takes into consideration the way the child is thinking and works with them to build new behaviors. This form of therapy is best for older children who can sit and communicate effectively. It works to promote emotional growth. Your foster child will be able to learn to understand the intense emotions including those that are attached to past events. From there they can practice how to control those feelings more effectively. Instead of displaying defiant behaviors, a child can begin to use other

Life Lessons to Teach Your Foster Child

Whether you are fostering or adopting a child, once of the biggest questions you will undoubtedly ask yourself is: what life skills and values  you would like to instill in them? While it is true that all children have their own talents, interests, and outlooks on life, there are important lessons that nearly everyone can take with them in their adulthood. Take time to think about the things that matter to you and the extent to which specific skills or behaviors have helped you, and try to synthesize this into a small but valuable list. If you need a little inspiration, perhaps the following life lessons can be of help.Being a Team PlayerWhile independence and learning to stand on your own two feet are crucial for your health and happiness, most scenarios in your child’s life will involve working in a team – including school sports, friendship groups, and work settings. Even being in a relationship