Can you imagine what it is like for a foster child on their first night in their first foster home? Close your eyes and imagine. Take yourself back. Back to a day when you were a child and the world seemed so grand, vast, and obscure. Imagine yourself in a room, laying in a bed, in a home with people you have never seen or heard of before. Imagine the feeling of the bed, the covers- not your own. There’s a lingering scent in the room that flutters by that you can’t quite make out. It reminds you of an old home that was built in the 1800’s or that “antiquey” scent that your grandma exudes when you hug her. You then hear footsteps nearing the room you’re currently in and you’re not sure whose they could be and what may be coming for you and then you notice that the footsteps go past your door and don’t come into your room. You exhale with relief. You sit there and wonder what it is like to be back in your own home, except home life was not a place of comfort and solace. You remember getting abused by your alcoholic father and not eating for days. You remember having to sleep on the basement floor. You remember falling asleep hungry, wet, and cold. You remember waking up to screaming and loud noises that were above you. You remember being dirty and wearing ripped clothes. Remember?
This is one example of what it may be like for a foster child on their first night in a foster home. These children don’t know what to expect. They’re scared, vigilant, waiting to be awoken by loud noises. They’re cautious to fall asleep and they don’t know what to expect. They come to the home with simply one bag of their belongings they couldn’t leave behind. They could have been rushed to pack, so they may have forgotten their favorite stuffed animal or blanket that they slept with each night. They typically don’t have their toothbrush or toothpaste. They don’t have many clothes and have little to no toiletries. That is why these first night in placement kits are so helpful. They help a child get through their first night smoother. In these kits, you will find a gift card for food in their area, bath bombs, comforting tea, blankets, toothbrushes and toothpaste, night lights and books geared to the child’s age. Donations are always accepted for these.
– Nicole Branson – Consulting Blog Writer for Via ColoriShare