If the resource family chooses to have a celebration to welcome the child into the home, it is a good idea to have a small and quiet celebration so as not to overwhelm the child. Some ideas for making the arrival more comfortable are:
- Prepare a welcome sign and personalize the child’s space with a sign such as “Johnny’s Room.”
- Place age-appropriate items in the area.
- Give the child a tour of the home to show him that his space is ready, whether that is an entire room or a bed, some drawers and closet space in someone else’s room. If another child is in the home, have that child be the tour guide.
- Point out the evacuation exits in the event they are needed.
- Have a stuffed animal the child may keep waiting on the child’s bed.
- Have a care package available with toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, story books or coloring books and crayons.
- Have an oversized white T-shirt ready to serve as pajamas for the first night and make decorating it with fabric markers part of the welcome ritual, and other children in the family could wear similar T-shirts that first night to help the child feel more at home.
- Consider taking a picture of the event for the child to keep and add this to a collection of other pictures you take throughout the child’s stay.
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