Planning Essential Routines for the Foster Family
Updated: Dec 27, 2022
Essential Routines for the Foster Family is a post I'm so excited to share with you. I have a HUGE freebie to reveal as well. The reason this is so great is that I was often complimented on my organization skills as well as my home management while doing foster care. Now I want to share my success and tricks with you!
To be an effective foster parent, routines for the foster family must be established and followed. What would you guess are the routines that are essential to be an efficient home manager? With the added pressures of visits, doctor appointments, therapy, and school meetings, proper home management is necessary.
What routines could you employ to create systems in your life to alleviate having to think about so many things daily? Last time I discussed a meal planning system, where you have nightly themes and utilize those when you grocery shop and plan your meals. You can check the link here: https://impressingminds.com/simple-foster-family-meal-planning/
Here is another essential routine for the foster family.
Planning the Month and Week
If you take a few moments at the beginning of the month to plan your month and meals out, you will be relieved later. For example, planning your days to grocery shop and clean will help you not fall into the trap of not being prepared. I like to clean the house in the evening after work. So, let’s say Thursday is my cleaning day. Grocery shopping for the week should be done consistently too. In my last post, I mentioned swinging by my local pizza place on Fridays. This would eliminate my need to cook and clean the kitchen.
Fridays would be a great day to grocery shop. If you want even more simplicity, on your Thursday lunch break, create your pick-up list for Friday at 6 pm. My local stores have a click-list opportunity and those ‘big box' stores. Make a habit of doing these routines to save time shopping. I like online ordering too because I can see what is on sale or what digital coupons I can add.
Writing down all the appointments in a monthly planner is essential for an efficient foster family. After the appointments are written down, send a picture of the month's calendar to your spouse or anyone else involved in taking your children to appointments. For example, my dad often takes my children to therapy appointments. Therefore, I send him a picture of the ones he will assist me with this month. He knows the sign-out procedure for the school, the length of the appointment, and what to do after the appointment. He gives me the new appointment card, which I put in a specific place in my purse till I get home. When planning the next month, I know I have those appointments to write down.
Using my phone...
When discussing essential routines for the foster family, sometimes putting times in my phone is helpful for the reminder capability. I put doctor's appointments on my phone. I like to do this because it gives me a reminder on the day of the event. But mostly, I enjoy paper planning. I love the big picture. I love scheduling around appointments. If my child or I have a doctor's appointment in a nearby city, I'll also schedule other errands on that day. I travel less this way. I save time and gas too.
A planner is essential to being efficient.
In my planner, there is a place to write down all the numbers to the therapists, doctors, transporters, etc. I utilize these as a backup for my phone.
After monthly routines and appointments are established, I look at my week and plan the menu, plan the days of cleaning and grocery shopping (which are mainly on the same day of the week), I then look at the appointments that are coming up and write them in. I make loose goals for the week and notes on the kids. Then I log anything in the behavior logs that must be filled in. I also wrote up weekly summaries from last week that weren’t done.
Reflect on routines and other elements of home management.
Basically, I take an hour or two to reflect on the previous week as I plan this week. I catch up on any paperwork, emails, and notes I want to make so that the new week is fresh. I’m ahead of schedule.
Because of the hectic life with which foster family finds themselves, I have created a planner. I call it the Ultimate Foster Family Planner. I think it will serve you well because of the fostering elements that are not in other family planners.
I am sure it will solve some of your problems with planning, organizing, and reflecting, that are so needed in foster families. It is the Ultimate Foster Family Planner for a reason. If you are reading this later, it should be a popup or under resources. For more educational opportunities, see what I have available here: https://kristenadkins.podia.com/
As a foster mom or dad, what tip is the most essential for you so far? Let me know in the comments.