Helen’s Fostering Blogs
Preparing and Safeguarding Our Home and Us
Prior to welcoming foster children into our home, it was essential to think about safeguarding our home and ourselves against all possibilities.
Our Social Worker helped us with this and gave us many pointers that we needed to think about, but the easiest way to go about it is to think of it as if you are about to have a baby, and all the things you would consider that could possibly be dangerous for that baby as they grow up.
Obviously, it easy to understand why sharp knives and scissors would need to be out of harms way, but it can feel a little disconcerting to have to think about needing to lock away normal household items such as hair shampoo and shower gel.
I can’t tell you how many times I found myself enjoying a nice warm shower only to realise I’d forgotten that all those items were no longer on the side of my bath, but eventually we got used to it and it just became part of our normal daily routine.
Myself and George wrote out a list of things that needed to be carried out and arranged for a carpenter to come round and put locks on two cupboards in our house, whereby we could lock away all kitchens essentials that needed putting out of sight and same for items upstairs in our bathroom.
We had a padlock put on the back-gate and changed the locks on both the bathroom and downstairs toilet, so that they were able to be unlocked from the outside if need be. I finally found out what that little plastic bracket was for that always comes with a set of blinds.
Our car MOT was checked and driving licence, and car insurance, we needed to think about how we would escape if there was a fire in our home, where to keep our house and car keys, bottles of wine were no longer being chilled in the fridge but out in the garage.
It can feel a lot at the beginning and you will often go to grab that knife from the draw in the kitchen and remember instead you need to get the key first to unlocked cupboard in the hallway before you can carry on preparing tonight’s dinner.
I think the more difficult suggestion that is made was that everyone in the house was to always wear a dressing gown. My stepdaughter has never worn a dressing gown and neither had I. We loved nothing more than getting into our cosy pjs and watching a bit of Saturday night tv. So how were we going to overcome this?
Was it really fair for us to expect Libby to always have to wear a dressing gown when it was something, she was not comfortable with?
Tricky …. the solution came in the shape of a onesie, which sadly I don’t carry off particularly well but hey at least I am in the comfort of my own home whilst wearing it so who really cares.
I think like most things in life, at first it may seem impossible, difficult or even unreasonable, but over time it just becomes the norm.
Helen – A Blogging Foster Carer’s Journey