Foster Parent Shopping List: 8 Must-Haves

By Willow Breckenridge | Jun 4, 2021

Welcoming a foster child into your home is one of the most selfless, caring acts you can do. These children often need extra support and love, as many have never experienced what it’s like to have stability and trusted adults on whom to lean. 

The most vital part of the process is preparing yourself psychologically. However, you also need to get your home ready. Please consult this foster parent shopping list for eight must-have items when welcoming a new child to your home. 

1. Personalized Room Decor

Your foster child might never have had a space to call theirs before. Even if they have to share a room with a sibling, you can help them feel wanted and welcome by personalizing their room decor. You can pick up name stickers at nearly any dollar or discount store — use them liberally to label objects as belonging to your foster child alone. 

You also want to give them space to showcase their personality. Stick to neutral paint tones — you can always make redecorating a fun project to do together later if they adore neon pink. Create secure storage spaces like cubbies and boxes where they can safeguard sentimental objects. 

2. A Cozy Bed

Some children balk at the command to go to their room, but your foster child might never have experienced a stable, cozy bed. Imagine if you had to sleep on a hotel mattress every night. 

Make your foster child’s bed as inviting and comfortable as possible. Shower them with playful throw pillows and indulgent Sherpa blankets that feel like a hug when they wrap them around their shoulders. 

3. A Study Desk

You know that the right home office setup helped you to maintain your productivity through the novel coronavirus pandemic craziness. Your foster child also needs a space to study. 

If you are short on space, you can find folding desks that mount to the wall. Such models let your foster child fold them down so that they can also use the area for exercise or meditation — two practices that qualify as healthy coping mechanisms. 

4. New Clothing 

Your foster child might not have had much time or resources to personalize their wardrobe. Please give them a sense of agency by taking them shopping and letting them select their clothing. 

However, it pays to have some staples on hand before they arrive. Go ahead and stock up on underwear and socks. If their school requires a uniform, you can pick those up, too. 

5. Hygiene Supplies

Here’s another opportunity for you to bond with your foster child and restore some of their sense of control over their life. Take them shopping for hygiene supplies like shampoo and body spray — let them select the brands they like. 

Now is also the ideal time to replenish your family first aid and emergency supply kit. When doing so, ensure that your foster child has a list of phone numbers for your family doctor and family and friends who can help if the worst occurs. 

6. A Backpack 

Your child needs a way to get their stuff back and forth to school and playdates. A backpack can become a foster child’s favorite thing. 

Ensure their pack contains supplies like a refillable water bottle and hygiene and first aid supplies like hand sanitizer. It’s also wise to create a laminated personal information card including contact information and any medications or allergy data first responders might need in an emergency.  

7. A Phone

It’s challenging to get by in today’s society without access to electronics. The novel coronavirus pandemic highlighted disparities in technology access — help your foster child stay current. 

A cellphone helps you keep track of older children independent enough to go off with friends alone. Additionally, many apps can aid in the learning journey for children of all ages. Talk to your current cellular provider about family plan options that can save you a bundle. Your representative can also advise you about parental controls that can help keep your foster child safer online. 

8. Favorite Foods and Snacks 

Everyone occasionally has to eat things that they don’t like. However, foster children have to do so more than most because they frequently change households, each of which follows unique diets. 

Find out what your foster child’s favorite foods are and stock up. Now is not the time to insist that they follow a paleo-vegan eating plan unless their doctor recommends it for health reasons. If they love nothing more than Flaming Hot Cheetos, indulge their craving within reason. 

Foster Parents — Add These 8 Must-Haves to Your Shopping List

If you are welcoming a new addition to your household, you have to prepare. Please add the eight must-haves above to your foster parent shopping list. 

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