Recently, we had the pleasure of conducting a private class for a family on the brink of fostering a couple of children and 2 adoptive parents. Working with these families brought back a ton of memories from when I worked with foster/adoptive parents when I lived in Indiana.
Becoming a foster parent is an incredible, rewarding journey. It is an amazing way to help your local community, grow as a family, and even change lives. As a foster parent, you have your foster child’s best interests at heart and want to do everything you can to keep them safe. One important aspect of that is house safety and creating a safe, comfortable environment for your new family member.
Whether you’re learning how to prepare for your first foster child, or you’ve had experience as a foster parent before, it might be a daunting task to get your home ready for a new addition. Keeping some basic safety principles in mind can make sure that your foster child’s adjustment is smooth. We’ve created this home safety checklist for foster parents to help you get started:
BECOME CPR AND FIRST AID CERTIFIED
In Texas, it is a requirement for prospective foster parents to be CPR and first aid certified. CPR and first aid classes will help you feel more equipped to handle potential emergencies if your foster child is injured. By acting quickly in a dangerous situation, you could very well save a child’s life!
Any Day CPR's CPR & First Aid Training for Foster Parents course covers essential topics such as child and infant CPR, conscious and unconscious choking for victims of all ages, AED use, and basic first aid. Successful completion of the class will result in a 2-year certification. Contact us to register today!
CONSIDER FIRE SAFETY
As you learn how to prepare to be a foster parent, fire safety is another important consideration. As always, ensure that smoke detector batteries are in good condition, follow state home inspection regulations, and remember fire safety best practices. Every family also needs to have a strong plan of action should a fire start, including a meeting place that is a safe distance from your home. Share your family’s fire safety plan with your foster child so that everyone knows exactly what to do in the event of an emergency.
PROPERLY STORE FRAGILE OBJECTS
As with any child, sometimes accidents happen. It is important to keep sentimental, irreplaceable, or fragile items out of reach to prevent damage and––more importantly––to keep your foster child safe. Things like glass heirlooms or important documents should be stored in a safe, responsible manner. Depending on your foster child’s age, consider what they can access and what might pose a hazard. You’ll want to run a full sweep of your home and make sure that these items are put away.
SECURE UNSAFE AREAS OF THE HOME
While you check your home for hazardous or fragile objects, you will also want to investigate for areas that could cause safety concerns. Do you have a fireplace? Is your washer and dryer in a closed-off area? When taking in a younger foster child, you should also make sure risk areas like stairwells are closed off if necessary.
KEEP DANGEROUS ITEMS OUT OF REACH
Also, you’ll want to ensure that any potentially dangerous items are properly stored. Items like chemical cleaners, sharp knives, or medications might seem like necessary items in your home, but they can pose a safety threat if they aren’t secured in an area out of reach of younger foster children. Remember, to keep choking hazards up and out of the way.
PREPARE YOUR HOME FOR FOSTER CHILDREN WITH ANY DAY CPR
Are you ready to start learning how to prepare your home for foster care? Any Day CPR’s CPR training For Foster Parents course can help. Contact our team at (866) CPR - 4093 or through our contact us form to enroll today!
Congratulations on your decision to become a foster parent. It is because of people like you that children in the foster care system can experience a safe, loving home. We hope that our safety checklist and tips for first time foster parents have helped you feel prepared as you begin your foster care parenting journey.