The first day of placement can be difficult for the foster family and the child. Children of all ages, including infants, will go through a transition period before becoming comfortable in the new home. Statistics indicate a child’s reaction to placement is largely depending on his or her past experiences.
Below are things to consider when a child is first placed:
- Be patient; don’t expect miracles.
- The child is trying to make sense of new people, new surroundings, and behaviors that are different from what he knows.
- Regardless of conditions of his previous situation, the child will likely display some sadness and anxiety due to loss.
- The child may be unclean or poorly dressed with little, if any, clothing, No matter what the child’s condition, do not discard his clothing and other personal possessions. These items may have special meaning to the child.
- The child may blame himself for what has happened. Assure him this is not the case.
- The child may be withdrawn, tearful, anxious, angry or overly active and playful. With some children, there will be no obvious effects of the placement.
- No matter what the child’s behavior or disposition, it is important that foster parents demonstrate acceptance, warmth, and understanding during this very difficult time for the child.