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5 Ways to Help Your Foster Children Feel at Home

If you were a never a foster kid yourself, it can be difficult to fully understand what they go through. The comfort felt from simply being in your own home is something they may have never experienced. As a foster parent, it’s so important to create a safe, warm and welcoming environment for your foster children. A new living situation with people you’ve never met before can be a difficult thing to get acclimated to, but with the right environment, it will happen over time. Consider these 5 ways to help your foster children feel comfortable and at home.

  1. Smile and Show Them Around

Welcome them with a warm smile. Though every child is different, it’s likely he or she will be slightly shy to start, so don’t be too intense. Keep a calm, grounded attitude while also expressing how happy you are to have them there. For smaller children, you may take their hand to guide them on the tour, while with older kids you may just place a hand on their shoulder for reassurance.

  1. Have a Snack Ready

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He or she is probably hungry but afraid to say anything, so there’s nothing more welcoming than having a snack ready for them when they arrive. Have a plate of chocolate chip cookies or some other treat to show them that they are at home. They may not eat right away, so don’t push it. Whether they eat or not, they’ll still know it’s there for them when they’re ready. does viagra make a man last longer in bed

  1. Get to Know Them

Start off by simply asking what they like to do. What kind of activities do they enjoy? Plan for some fun weekend activities that will help them feel integrated into your family. You might take them to a museum or to the park. Maybe they’ve always wanted to try a sport but have never had the opportunity. They might like art or drawing, so you could get them some supplies. viagra cialis kamagra differenze

  1. Be Clear, Not Demanding When it Comes to Rules

Though there are boundaries that need to be set, do so in a gentle way. Be clear about your expectations while not being aggressive or demanding. Treat your foster children with the respect you would like to receive from them in return. Give them no reason – based on your actions or attitude toward them – to make them feel like they need to act out or feel distrust toward you. viagra side effects fatigue

  1. Give Them Time and Space

This transition will probably be a challenge for him or her, so give them plenty of time to get acclimated. Try to understand why they may feel uncomfortable in the situation – put yourself in their shoes. The best thing you can do is keep a positive outlook and create a welcoming home where they can blossom and succeed.

Foster Children and Holidays

When the holidays roll around, regardless of what you celebrate, it’s easy to take them for granted and assume that everyone shares the same feelings of comfort and joy. If you are a foster parent, you know that the holidays can be difficult for foster children of all ages. While it’s important to make your foster child feel special during the holidays, don’t avoid “touchy” subjects that may become intensified during the holiday season. Remember, your foster child may struggle with conflicting feelings of loyalty, general stress, and maybe hopelessness. Here are some ways to make the holidays a little easier for your foster child:

Prepare Ahead of Time


Whether you celebrate Christmas, Kwanzaa, or Hanukkah, you and your family probably has annual traditions. When including your foster child, tell him or her about your traditions. Additionally, ask him or her if there are any traditions that he or she would like to introduce to you and your family. Definitely inform and include your foster child in any and all activities, but don’t expect him or her to jump right on board. For example, if your foster child never celebrated holidays, Christmas may be exciting yet overwhelming. He or she may have many questions and a few anxieties. Don’t overlook them and answer as best as you can. It’s always a good idea to talk about holiday plans as early as you can for better preparation.

Talk with Others about Your Foster Child

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In addition to informing your foster child of holiday plans, don’t forget to include your family or friends. While your family and friends are most likely well-intentioned, they may have questions themselves, not knowing how to proceed with the holidays or how to include your foster child in holiday traditions. Encourage them to withhold from asking too many personal questions that may hit an already sensitive nerve. Your foster child just wants to be seen as normal during the holidays.

Be Patient with Your Foster Child 


As a foster parent, your patience is probably tested frequently, but don’t forget to be extra patient and understanding during the holidays. Think about how the holidays make or have made you feel; chances are you’ve felt stressed, overwhelmed, and a little sad from time to time. Your foster child may exhibit behaviors that reflect depression, anxiety, and anger. Even if the holidays are supposed to be a “happy time of year”, allow your foster child to have feelings. Don’t give up on him or her just because you want to feel in the spirit of the Happy Holidays. viagra natural fruit

Include Biological Parents if Possible

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No foster child’s life story is the same and before you decide to include or not include biological parents in your holidays, you need to consider your foster child’s background, safety, and overall well-being. If your foster child is really struggling with the holidays, you may be able to ease anxiety and sadness by having him or her buy a small gift or make a card for a biological parent. If your child shows no interest or desire to acknowledge his or her biological parent, let it go; never pressure him or her to be part of something that makes him or her uncomfortable or sad.

Health Risks in Children

Sadly, children in foster care do not seem to fare much better than in the previous conditions that landed them there in the first place. Children who are kept in foster care develop behavioral, developmental as well as emotional problems. Not just that, children are also known to develop physical and serious health problems if they are kept in foster care for too long. The main reasons behind this is neglect and abuse. If you are associated with the child welfare system, you should understand the level of abuse, and even molestation that these children can face while in foster care. This can severely impact their mental and physical development. herbal viagra for women


If the children are separated from their parents and are put in foster care, they tend to develop complicated mental health disorders. They also have a greater risk of substance abuse and failure in educational and co-curricular activities. It can even lead to juvenile delinquency, homelessness, crime, and even imprisonment.

Mental Health

If any child is found to be having mental health problems, they should be immediately taken to a mental health expert or psychiatrist. They will be able to provide the right insight and treatment for the child. There are many different ways psychiatrists can attempt to repair the lost self-esteem in the child and improve their behavior. watermelon contains viagra


Non-medical therapies include talk therapy and psychotherapy. There are different methods in which a professional would try to bring back the child to mainstream society and have them thrive, much like any other children who have never been introduced to foster care. can anyone buy viagra online

Psychotropic medicines are also effective against the behavioral and psychological problems that children in foster care can suffer. Care needs to be taken to not create a drug dependency. se puede comprar viagra sin receta medica en mexico

Sometimes a psychiatrist provides a combination of the two treatment methods to be able to effectively treat the mental and physical troubles that the child may have after their experiences in foster care. how to use viagra spray

What do the reports say?

Many would be shocked to know that there are more than 500,000 children in foster care in the USA. Most of the children have been found to be the victims of drugs and substance abuse. Prolonged neglect and lack of a stable environment coupled with a gap in nurturing, it is no obvious how these children can develop mental health issues. They also have unmet medical needs and are often suffering from various diseases and health disorders.

Assessing the Child’s Condition

If you have adopted a child who had been in foster care, you need to take them to a doctor. There are certain important things that you need to remember before the first doctor’s visit:

  • If you have the child’s complete medical history, be sure to take that along.
  • If possible, take along the history of your child’s mental health and psychological problems.
  • You should also make the doctor aware if there has been any traumatic experience faced by the child.

You should be careful and patient with a foster child whom you might have adopted. Behavioral and mental health problems should be addressed at an early age before these turn out to be major problems in future.

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Getting in Touch With Nearby Foster Agencies for Support

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Fostering a child is a challenging and rewarding experience. Each child is unique and deserves a safe and loving environment in which to flourish and grow. As reported by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI), 397,122 children are living without permanent families in the U.S. and nearly 32% will spend 3 years in foster care before they are adopted into a permanent home. Foster parents play an important role in society and deserve a great deal of support for their efforts.

Fostering parenting isn’t always easy, as any foster parent knows. Foster parents share their homes, their time, and their attention with their foster children. They are charged with keeping these children safe, clean, well fed, and well cared for, including the child’s emotional needs. Each child has his own unique needs that foster parents must learn quickly to provide.

Finding Support Groups for Foster Parents

Fortunately, there are a number of agencies and groups that support foster parents. The National Foster Parent Association provides online directories of affiliated state and local foster care organizations, along with their contact information, so you can easily contact an agency or organization near you. Foster Care to Success provides a list or organizations at the forefront of foster care, education, and family welfare issues.

AdoptUSKids provides state-specific information about foster care and adoption. Search online with the search term “(state) foster care support.” The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children & Families, Child Welfare Information Gateway provides contact information for foster care and adoption programs in every state in the nation.

Therapeutic Foster Care provides training programs and a lengthy list of resources with contact information for foster parents of children with special needs. These resources include the Special Olympics, Exceptional Parent Magazine’s online resource, Foster Parent Community, and the National Family Caregivers Association.

President Obama Supports Foster Parents and Children

When President Obama proclaimed May 2015 as National Foster Care Month, he made clear the vital role that foster parents play in our society, stressing that children are best raised by families – not in institutions. President Obama referred to foster parents as selfless individuals who step up and serve as parents, teachers, mentors, case workers, and faith leaders, and help foster children realize their aspirations despite the odds against them. The President announced that his administration is partnering with state and tribal leaders to improve the foster care system.

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Integrating Foster Children: Even Mundane Activities Can Pose Dangers

As a foster parent, it is incumbent upon you to establish as normal a routine as possible for the children in your charge. Normalcy is important to the assimilation process, and it provides the children with much needed structure. Every aspect of the children’s lives (and yours) must be considered. Everything from how they will get to and from school and whether or not they will alter the dynamic of family activity time needs to be taken into consideration. Such considerations and decisions will help establish the tone and pace of your family. Also, when the children are able to anticipate what comes next in their routine, they may cooperate more freely, and learn to trust more quickly. However, even typically predictable activities can present hazards, so as you discuss plans with your new charges, keep safety at the forefront of the discussion.

School Buses

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) touts school buses as the safest way for children to get to and from school. While that may be true, the statement can lead to a false sense of security. Approximately 12,000 children are injured and 600 are killed every year in bus accidents. If your foster children will be taking the bus to and from school, review with them safety guidelines relative to behavior on both the inside and the outside of the school bus. For example:

  • Stand and walk a minimum of six feet away from the bus.
  • Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop, and wait for the driver’s cue, before approaching and boarding the bus
  • When outside of the bus, do not pick up dropped items until informing the driver. He won’t be able to see a child who is bent or stooped over.
  • Always use handrails when boarding and exiting the bus.
  • Do not walk behind the bus. akit gazetesi viagra
  • Do not stand up, even to switch seats, until the bus is at a complete stop.

Many of the tips listed above sound obvious, but remember that they are children, and will not automatically know how to behave on and near the bus. Additionally, since it is possible that the children have never taken a school bus, they may simply be unaware altogether of how to behave safely around buses.

Family Activities

Physical danger is certainly an important consideration when establishing a routine and familiarizing your foster children with it. Not all dangers are physical, though, and special consideration should be made when deciding on family activities. Given that you may not have the complete history of your foster children, and they are being thrust into a new family where they will be required to learn a new set of rules, children placed in your care may be prone to unanticipated outbursts that could impact the family dynamic. Such outbursts can lead to physical altercations, but more likely, the outbursts will cause the children to feel embarrassed and negative toward themselves. Such emotions can be emotionally dangerous, and lead to self-destructive behavior in children, especially those who have already experienced trauma in their lives.

To that end, and to make sure the children feel welcome, avoid competitive activities (board games, video games), at least until the children have acclimated and feel safe. Instead, consider activities that promote bonding and nurturing. Something as simple as an evening walk with the family, or sitting next to each other during movie night can go a long way toward making the children feel welcome and part of the family. im 19 can i take viagra

A note about using touch as a way to bond: Use caution when attempting to bond using touch, as some children may not be receptive to it and may have negative past experiences associated with it. So, use relatively noninvasive contact, such as high fives, and always affirm and respect the children’s feelings surrounding the issue of touch. viagra and alcohol effects

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Assuming responsibility for foster children requires a significant amount of planning in order to help them avoid dangers of all kinds. Planning is critical. Whether you are helping them stay safe on the bus, or planning inclusive activities to make them feel welcome, foster children rely solely on their foster parents to help them navigate safely through an often traumatic stage in their lives.

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Do Dogs and Foster Children Mix?

When you own a dog and choose to become a foster parent, initially you will have no way of knowing if the children placed in your care know how to behave around dogs, or if they know how to spot signs of aggression. While there are a small handful of dog breeds that tend to be more naturally aggressive than others, the vast majority have relatively even temperaments. But, dogs are sentient beings with individual personalities, and given the right circumstances just about any dog can be provoked to attack someone. This can be especially true when the dog is introduced to strangers, even children. cialis sin problemas de ereccion

Of course, dogs don’t always attack without warning. The ASPCA offers a comprehensive list of behaviors that are considered to be aggressive, and those should be reviewed with every new child in your home. Your foster children should be told that if they do witness signs of aggression in your dog, they should stay away from the dog and report it to you right away. But, how do dogs get to that point in the first place? What factors can cause otherwise friendly dogs to behave aggressively? osu acheter viagra pfizer


In some instances, a dog may lash out at another animal or a person, even if the victim isn’t the source of the dog’s angst. In situations where the dog is exposed to new people, he may act out in excitement. So, foster children should be introduced to the dog one at a time, and be taught the proper way to approach and speak to it. avena syrup natural viagra


Normally gentle dogs can become aggressive if they are in pain. It can be difficult to initially point to pain as the motivator, however, because animals don’t typically show it in the same overt way as humans. In fact, the dog might not be exhibiting any other outward signs at all, such as having an open wound or walking with a limp. Since your foster children may not know how to properly interact with dogs, or the children may be aggressive themselves, never leave a child alone with the dog because they could both end up getting hurt.


Dogs can be territorial by nature, though some breeds are more prone to being protective and possessive than others. A dog’s territory might extend beyond the home, too. In areas a dog is familiar with, such as the neighborhood where he is taken for walks, aggression can be triggered more easily than if he was in an unfamiliar park. In that instance, seeing strange dogs on his ‘turf’ or fear of the unknown may spark his aggression. viagra in australia

The same holds true for strangers in their homes. That is why it is best to introduce the dog to the new children on neutral ground. For example, introduce them to one another at a park the dog doesn’t frequent. Then, when the children do enter the home, the dog will have already become familiar them, and will be less likely to feel territorial. cialis 2.5 mg cpr 28


The feeling of being overwhelmed and uncertain can cause a dog to become aggressive when he is around strangers, particularly if the dog senses the stranger is a threat to his family. Sudden movements or loud voices can trigger a panic-like reaction in a dog, at which time he could attack because he fears for his safety, or that of his family. So, teach your foster children that they must always speak gently and walk slowly around the dog no matter how much interaction they’ve had.

Of course, it is possible for foster children and dogs to get along, but the best chance of that happening is to educate the children from the start. Teach them how to interact with your dog, and how to spot signs of aggressions. That way, it will be a safe home for both the dog and your foster children. cialis uk reviews

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