Foster parenting can be extremely overwhelming at times. Between social workers visiting, taking care of a child who has experienced trauma, possible family visits, and keeping up with your everyday life; it can all become a bit overwhelming. I find that keeping myself organized through this foster parent planner is the key to keeping my sanity. By the time we adopted our daughter, I realized how unorganized I was. There was post-its everywhere, some notes in my phone, some on a pad of paper in our desk, and some in Evernote. I knew that when we were ready to take in foster baby number two, we needed to get ourselves organized. On top of all of the stress, paperwork was not going to be another thing I added to my list of stressors.
I love having a phone that shares a calendar with my husband, and can keep notes… BUT I need to write things down as well. Having a planner that organizes ALL of my important information helps me keep my sanity. I also LOVE that when I have lists or calendar events I have something to
cross off. It makes me feel like I accomplished a goal.
All of these are free foster parent printables that you can find by registering here, so you too can put together a beautiful planner to keep yourself organized through this crazy journey.
Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. This means at no additional cost to you we may receive a commission if you purchase products from one of our links. However, we only recommend products we love. See full disclosure here.
Following is a step-by-step guide on how I created my foster parent planner.
First: Gather your supplies-
- Binder- I bought this super cute 1-inch binder at Walmart for three dollars.
- Card Stock (8.5 by 11)
- 3 hole puncher
- Pictured here is write-able tabs made by Post-It
- Fun Gel pens- I personally love Paper Mates Ink Joy Gel 0.7. They write so smooth, and come in fun bright colors. Honestly, you can use any pens. Everybody who knows me, knows I LOVE school supplies, especially fun pens…. So this is my choice.
- White copy paper
- Pencil pouch
Second: Print your organizers and dividers
- Print the planner cover and dividers on card stock. If you want your dividers to stand out more, you can buy colored card stock. White card stock happened to be cheaper, so I went with white.
- Everything else will be printed on white copy paper.
- 1 copy of the contact log
- 1 copy of the due dates for the year log
- 1 copy of the expense log
- 1 copy of the dates to remember
- 1 copy of the important reminders log
- 1 copy of each of the months
- 52 copies of the weekly planner- You can always do less of these, and add more as you go through the year if you want your binder to stay skinnier.
- I also added copies of the meal prep calendar because I make a calendar for each week every Thursday, and this makes it easier for me to grab.
As a side note: the beauty of creating your own foster parent planner using these materials is that if there is something you will not use or creates more clutter for you, just leave it out.
Third: Hole punch your dividers/ place your tabs/ and label them.
- I like to place my tabs with the sticky side on the back of the divider so that the front of the divider looks clean.
- I also like to place the tabs so that I can see each one as soon as I open it, so I place the dividers in, and then place the tabs on so that they are spaced appropriately.
- Next, I use a sharpie to write on each tab.
Fourth: Hole punch and place the rest of your organizers
Pictured is the order that I place my tabs and organizers
Tab 1: Contacts
Tab 2: Due Dates/ This is for you to keep track of the due dates of the documents you will need to submit annually for your re-certification.
Tab 3: Expense Logs/ This is to help you keep track of the clothing and educational toy requirements that you spend. Don’t forget to save the receipts too.
Tab 4: Dates to Remember. I am notorious for forgetting birthdays and anniversaries (yes, my husband is way better at remembering our anniversary) so this is a helpful tool for these important dates.
Tab 5: Important Reminders. To help store websites that make great resources, passwords, and book lists.
Tab 6: Monthly Calendar. If you haven’t noticed by the dividers yet, I am a huge fan of inspiring quotes. Each month also shows an inspiring quote.
Tab 7: Weekly Planner- to help prioritize weekly goals.
Tab 8: Meal Prep Calendar.
Fifth: You are almost done! Place your pencil pouch in the front with a few necessary supplies.
I chose a few of my favorite colored pens to write with, and sticky notes. I would try to keep this to the necessities, because it will bulk up your planner if you add too much. This pouch can also be a great place for you to store your monthly receipts for your kiddos.
What I love about organizing my foster parent planner like this is that I can take out the weekly planner once I’m done with it, and I can add items that I need to keep safe and don’t want to lose. It is also a very inexpensive way to keep yourself organized. I had many of the items already such as the hole puncher, so it only cost me about 10 dollars to buy the remaining supplies that I needed. I also like that I can add tabs to it later if necessary. For example, once we bring in foster kiddo number two I will add in another tab for blank medical forms. It seemed like I was always taking my daughter to the doctor, and having the blank forms on hand when needed will be a major stress and time saver.
If you’d like to make your own foster parent planner, please register here to gain access to the free printable library.
***Please Note that in order to gain access to the printable library you need to fully complete the registration process, and you will be e-mailed the direct links to the library. If you are struggling, please reach out. I will gladly help you! 🙂 ***
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My husband also wrote an AMAZING post on how you can back-up and save all of these hard copies.
If you have an idea for a divider that you’d like to add, or an idea for an extra component to the foster parent planner, please leave a comment or shoot me an e-mail, I’d love to hear your ideas. I’m all about bettering myself as a foster mama, let’s help each other out.
*Disclaimer: Please note that we are not experts. We are not social workers or lawyers. These are ideas that I have found handy for my own organization purposes. Everything you use should be used with careful responsibility since foster care is such a delicate topic. Please check with your social worker first before use of these ideas. For full terms and conditions of this website, please click here. End disclaimer.*
Have any questions about the supplies I used to create this organizational resource? Here’s a list!
This list contains affiliate links. This means at no additional cost to you we may receive a commission if you purchase a product from one of the links. But we will only recommend products we love. See full disclosures here.
White Copy Paper
White Cardstock (8.5 by 11)