Five Products to Prepare Your Foster Home

Preparing for placements can feel overwhelming. Here are five products to prepare your foster home that have held up throughout our journey!

Where to Start

When Correy and I started to prepare our home for our first placements we didn’t know where to start. In the future, I’ll do a more comprehensive account of how we prepared our home. However, for now there are several products that have really held up over the past year that I wanted to highlight. They have been incredibly valuable for our family, but also great products I recommend to all kinds of parents! For the record, I don’t get any kind of commission if you purchase these products. I just genuinely stand by the value they have had on our family as we prepared our home and survived through our first year of fostering! 


Sound Machine / Night Light

Having a good sound machine and night light is essential to making a room comfortable for a kiddo entering your home. Finding a machine that does both with lots of options is even better! You never know what a child is used to and what triggers they may be bringing with them.

I found that this machine is easy for even younger kids to navigate. It also offers a wide variety of colors for the light as well as sound options. The volume also has a broad range. This is helpful for us as the boys like soft music at night, but then we play white noise fairly loud in the baby’s room. They are relatively small and durable for travel which is great too! Whatever option you go with, providing options for the kiddos and making it easy for them to use independently is priority! 


Label Maker

This was a game changer as we prepared our home. In the months leading up to our first placement, we received donations of clothing, toys, and other items. This was so helpful, however with a fairly broad age range we didn’t need to have everything out. I began sorting bins with different clothes sizes by gender so that when the time came, I could easily pull whatever I needed. Having a portable label maker made this feel so much easier and more organized. During my prep I had to reorganize bins often as I had an influx of certain sizes. It was easy for me to just replace the old label instead of having written permanently on the bins. 

Post placement, our kiddos had big insecurities about ownership. Understandably, they wanted to claim what was theirs out of fear that it would be taken away or would be lost. Even now, you can see the evidence of this as their names are written on things like their beds, closet walls, and toys. Having a label maker helped us redirect this behavior by allowing them to “label” things which meant less permanent marker all over things while still allowing them that feeling of permanency. 

The label maker we ended up with was cost effective and did all that I needed. I didn’t need anything fancy, so it had the perfect amount of settings to be practical without being over the top. The price was reasonable and the refills are easy to come by and cost effective as well. I’m sure there are many options that work well, but this one continues to work for us and was a worthwhile investment! 


Blackout Curtains

Each kiddo is different, but anything you can do to encourage good sleep is a worthwhile investment. One of our kiddos was about 15 months when he came to us. He is incredibly high energy and did not have much down time during waking hours. This made naps and nighttime incredibly important and blackout curtains were huge for him. He is a kiddo that needs a structured and specific sleep routine, so making sure his room says “sleep” is key. 

I quickly found that blackout curtains can be incredibly pricey. I found these on Amazon and am so pleased with how they’ve worked. We live on a busy corner so sound can also be an issue. These curtains have helped set the room up to encourage his sleep routine even during his midday nap. They keep the room dark and also help minimize the noise. Plus they come in cute prints! Pairing these with the sound machine is the perfect combo for a sleep-ready bedroom!


Portable Scanner

If you’re a foster parent, you’re used to having mountains of paperwork. There are monthly progress reports, forms from every medical appointment, mileage logs, and medication administration records. Plus you receive all kinds of correspondence from the county, schools, doctors, and more. This is all uploaded and submitted in an online portal, so having a scanner is very helpful. 

I do a lot of this kind of work in blocks of time where I retreat to a coffee shop or library. So, when I found this portable and compact scanner I thought I’d give it a try. It has been incredibly useful and is small enough where I throw it in my bag with my laptop and I can catch up on uploading documents on the go. It’s USB powered so it doesn’t require any kind of outlet or battery which is also great! The software it comes with is also helpful as it’s easy to use and was compatible with my MacBook. It was on sale when I made the purchase, so if you’re interested keep an eye out for special deals! Regardless of what option you go with, making sure you have access to scan documents will make your life easier and keep you on top of everything! 


Cube Storage 

Having storage options that are easy to change and simple is key. Especially with the ages of the kiddos in our care, I feel like our needs are constantly changing. As one kiddo aged out of the crib we had entire bedrooms to move around. On a smaller scale, when our girl started KG, we found a need for centralized school bins for her and our oldest’s workbooks and other learning aids. 

Of all the furniture and storage we’ve utilized, I found these cube storage systems to be the best. They are cost effective and are easily customizable to fit the space you have. They are in several rooms in our house and we’ve changed the size and shape of them to fit our needs over time. We did not know what we needed and had to adapt over and over as the kids settled into our home. Having storage shelves like these have made it easy to change our space around without needing to purchase additional storage or pieces of furniture. Some of our shelves are left open holding office supplies. Some have cube bins with labels on the front for craft supplies. Others have decorative cube bins with baby clothes or toys inside. They are easy to assemble, lightweight, and come in a variety of colors, and wipe down easily! 


Overall, items that are flexible themselves or allow you to adapt quickly are a worthwhile investment. Creating a safe and inviting space for any kiddos is the priority. These items are great starting points, but finding the needs specific to each foster home is important. Whether you’re preparing your own home or looking for a gift for a friend starting their journey, adaptability is key!

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