One of the biggest moments of our adoption journey was talking to the children’s foster carer. I’m not a big fan of talking on the phone at the best of times, so to phone up a complete stranger and ask questions was a terrifying moment for me. However, it was one of the most important conversations we have ever had. It was our chance to ask questions about the children, find out more about them and begin to get an insight into who they were! I wish I had the foresight to write down the questions I wanted to ask the foster carer before I called her, as when I came off there were so many things I still wanted to ask. So, if you have just been matched, here are 10 questions to ask a foster carer.
1. What size clothes/shoes are the children in? (Sounds like an odd one as the children will come with clothes, but we adopted just as summer was starting and we wanted to buy a few bits and bobs for the hot days. It was much easier than guessing!)
2. Are they potty trained? How recently did this happen and how confidently trained are they? (Little Sir was potty trained but he wasn’t confident with recognising when he needed to go! We had several accidents before I figured this out!)
3. Do they still use a buggy? If so, when do they use it. If not, how long ago did they stop using it?
4. What are their favourite foods/toys?
5. What is their bedtime routine and do they sleep in a cot, cot bed or bed?
6. What are their main likes/dislikes? (Really helpful to know that they hate having their hair brushed, or they love to have a bath!)
7. What’s the best way to comfort them when they are upset? (Do they have a special song, rhyme, cuddly toy?)
8. Do they use a night light? Are they used to sleeping alone?
9. For slightly older children, how are they getting on in school? What are they struggling with/finding really easy?
Obviously it all depends on the age of the child and the questions would need to be adapted for the different ages. However, the foster carer is such a great font of knowledge about your new child and they are, generally, very happy to answer any questions you might have. The only thing I would say is, even if the child is no longer using a dummy/buggy etc, don’t worry about going back to using them yourself if you feel your child needs to when they come home. Many children regress when they are placed and it’s a perfectly normal part of the adoption process.
Have you recently adopted? Can you add any more questions to ask a foster carer? Or are there any questions you wished you’d asked when you had the chance?