By Madam Tia, Foster Mother at Epworth Foster Care

Space can be created.
Once your heart is open, space will be created naturally. It is important to let the foster child feel welcomed. This gesture provides him/her with a sense of security and assurance that their new home is a safe place.

Open communication.
To ensure the best for the foster child, parents must agree with each on the rules and ways so as to help him/her grow and feel secure emotionally. Not only will it benefit the child, but the relationship between husband and wife will be strengthened. It is important to support one another within the same household. In this way, it minimises conflicts and prevents burnout

Lay down clear consequences and be consistent.
By doing so, it shows that, as parents, consequences and actions are not carried out according to moods and emotions. Consistency helps the child understand and abide by the rules. There is no need for harsh words or labelling to make them listen to you. (Refer to our June issue read more on the importance of consistency.)

Look out for social and emotional behaviour.
Every foster child comes from a different background. It is important not to frighten the foster child, or make them feel threatened over their academic results. Instead, look out for their social and emotional behaviour. Be open to talk about their fears and concerns, but only when they are ready and willing to share.

Attend all mandatory training courses.
Children who are being fostered out are special in their own ways. Attending relevant courses can be very helpful. It taught my husband and I different methods on how to better manage a situation e.g. handling behavioural issues and understanding children’s trauma and triggers.

Give time.
Let the foster child settle in his/her new home. They would need some time to settle into a new environment and get used to a different company