Episode 27-Keeping Kids Safe
This is one of the concerns that I hear the most. “How do you keep your kids safe?” or, “Do you worry about your own kids’ safety?”
Not only is this a common concern, but it is a legitimate concern as well. You are bringing someone into your how who you have never met before. There is no way that you can simply give them 100% of your trust from day one. You need to do certain things to keep every one in your home (You, your bio-kids, and your foster kids).
So, here are a few things that we do to help ensure the safety of everyone in our home.
- Boundaries are a big thing in foster care. For some foster kids, they have never really had boundaries.
- We set rules about bedrooms.
- Foster kids, especially teens, are not allowed in our kids’ room, and our kids are not allowed in our foster kids room.
- Our foster kids are also not allowed to be with our children when we are out of the room, or out of line of sight, or out of earshot.
- Setting boundaries is huge. If your kids, or your foster kids, do not know what they boundaries are, how are they going to be able to respect the boundaries.
Set clear procedures (a plan) for specific situations.
- This is basically a plan for when things go wrong.
- We are required to have a fire plan, but we need plans to help our kids and our foster kids deal with situations in the moment.
- We have a procedure for what our foster kids do if our young kids goes in their room.
- We also have a procedure for what will happen if our foster kids go into their room.
- We talk to our kids about appropriate touch, and we role play actions that they can take if touch becomes inappropriate.
- Come up with these plans, and then PRACTICE them!
Monitor your kids.
Even with all the boundaries and procedures, there is no substitute for monitoring.
- Monitor when kids are playing outside or inside.
- Keep an eye on them and listen to how they talk.
- Monitor any social media like Facebook, Snap chat, Instagram, or any others.
- Make sure that you know their passwords, are friends with them, and are regularly checking up on them.
- Monitor and structure all internet activity.
Should you use door alarms?
We use door alarms. I know that they are not popular with all foster parents. But, they work for us and our family.
They teach a valuable lesson:
“Be where you are supposed to be when your supposed to be there.
We also do door alarms to protect us, our kids, and our foster kids. If everyone is on the same page we are all protected.
Here is a link to the alert system we use: Our Alarm
Call to Action!
- Get a safety plan in place.
- Don’t just do the fire plan.
- Come up with plans that meet your individual needs. If you have teens, have them come up with a plan when it comes to avoiding being alone with small children to avoid any suspicion.
Thanks so much for listening. Stay tuned next week…
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Until next time!
Ben & Deb Pugh
The Foster Parents