Imagine for a moment what it must feel like to move into a new environment, with new surroundings; an unfamiliar mattress, new rules, new routines. Moving into a new home can be a scary and overwhelming experience for youth in foster care.
Foster and adoptive parents can help ease some of those fears and anxieties by creating a welcome home book. The less anxiety a child feels, the safer he or she will feel.
Welcome books can be valuable resources for youth of all ages. Welcome home books can help bridge the gap between what is unknown to what will soon become more familiar, comfortable, safe, and secure.
Encourage all family members to participate and contribute in creating a welcome home book. Welcome home books do not have to be an extensive project. Pictures with captions and descriptions are what make up the contents of a welcome home book. A small photo album or a scrapbook with captions would work well, too.
Your creativity will ultimately dictate how detailed and comprehensive your welcome home book ultimately becomes. Be creative and imaginative and most importantly of all, have fun and be expressive!
If you have computer skills, you could create a welcome home book through a free online website, such as snapfish.com If computers are not your strong suit, then perhaps you could put together a hand crafted welcome home book, including pictures of:
- Family members greeting the child with warm and welcoming messages, such as “Welcome Annisha!” or “We are looking forward to meeting you, Antonio!”
- The child’s bedroom
- The family’s dining room
- Holiday celebrations or family traditions
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