Safety Guidelines for Foster Parents

Once you become a foster parent, it is important to consider the safety issues in your home. Below is a list of questions that walk you through a safety checklist. It is important to have this process in place BEFORE your foster child moves into your home. You will also want to make sure that all of the children are familiar with these same guidelines to promote unity in the household. The safety guidelines are especially crucial if your foster child has severe problems. These children need a very safe environment and unique solutions to fit their needs. First, you must read the requirements for your home and lifestyle (your habits, e.g. smoking, drinking) as issued by each state and locale. You will want to keep a copy of these regulations in a handy place for reference.

SAFETY IS NUMBER ONE. YOU MUST KEEP YOU AND YOUR CHILD SAFE!

Now for your safety check-up. The intention of this list is to get your mind thinking of safety. I hope that you revise my steps to fit your own situation. My goal is for you to think in a new way and to see things through the eyes of safety.

Keeping safe means including everyone who is involved with your child. This includes keeping you and your child and those who work with your child safe. People who work with your child need to be made aware of all potential safety issues. For example, your child may be a biter. You need to tell the workers (a teacher) to be aware of this behavior. No two children are the same. Therefore, you must learn all about that child. Does this child climb out of windows at night? Does he cut himself? Does she spit at you? And the list goes on and on. It will take a while to know your child. So start with what you know and build from there. I hope that these questions have put you in the safety mode. The tried and true still holds up– BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY!!