Monday, October 22, 2012

Controlling the Chaos: Foster Home House Rules for Teens

By John and Diane.

House Rules for Foster homes, or any home with kids are VITAL in our minds, to give kids clear boundaries and expectations. Especially important in foster homes, house rules provide security for kids, letting them know both what is expected of them, and that the foster parents will hold all the kids to the same standards.

This means, the rules protect them as well as apply to them.

Our house rules blog article (Importance of House Rules/Chore Lists for kids with Trust Disorders and RAD) has been one of our most viewed posts, but we mostly have dealt with younger kids, below the age of 14 or 15.  For this reason we sought out some house rules for Teenagers to help those of you who have older foster kids,or just older teens who need boundaries.

We found this list below on and really like it.  Of course, all house rules should be tweaked to fit your particular circumstances, but we feel like this is a great start and covers a lot of the necessary "teen" issues you want to deal with.  Things like school grades and privileges, boyfriends and girlfriends in bedrooms and phone usage are all things to be considered when making house rules for teens.

Below is the partial list. Follow the link at the end to go to to see the full list and source.  (Note: This list refers to the "Slate" residence, as this was the name of the authors group home.)


1. No boy friends or girl friends will be allowed without permission or when the Slates are not at home. Dates must be introduced to the Slates before permission will be given.

2. No persons of the opposite sex are permitted in the bedrooms at the same time for any reason or at any time. Children of the same sex must get permission to visit another child’s bedroom. Bathroom use is limited to one person at a time. This rule applies whether the children are visiting or are members of the family.

3. Prior permission is required for all outside activities including going to neighbors, visiting friends, after school activities, etc. If you are missing for more than 30 minutes without the Slates knowing where you are, you will be considered a runaway and the Police Department will be notified.

4. Prior permission must be given before riding in anyone else’s vehicle.

5. School will be attended, as required by law. Any grade below C is unacceptable. A C is considered OK but you should strive for As and Bs. Homework will be completed, required by the teachers! You will find that the Slates will almost always support the teacher or principal when dealing with disputes between you and the school authorities. The school punishment will be mild compared to the home punishment!

6. Telephone calls will be limited to no longer than fifteen minutes each and limited to a reasonable number per day. (The Slates will define the number allowed based upon whether the privilege is being abused.) No phone calls (in or out) after 10:00 PM. NO long distance or 900 calls will be made!

7. Household chores will be assigned and completed. Chores will be assigned shortly after arrival.

8. Attendance at meals and family is compulsory unless permission is obtained in advance. All food is to be eaten in dining areas unless special permission is granted.

To read the rest of the house rules, go to 

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  1. I AGREE WITH YOUR LIST how Ever,WHERE IS YOUR LIST ? IS there a list for parents like find a good thing to say, like give hugs everyday,like be merciful cause you screw up everyday too ,who holds you accountable the answer is God.He has a rules list too and when we fail and we all do ,live a mess use the phone too much, swear, watch t.v. instead of talking to them or better listening to them Post this too.Then I will be impressed.

    1. There is a Parents List in one of the books I have recommended, and you are right, I have been meaning to post it here,so thank you for the reminder. In "Parenting Other People's Children by John Stoller"there is a great list and tips, and I will bring this info to the blog.
      I do believe that God is in everything I do, so again, I agree...
      thanks for commenting and be on the lookout for our Parent's House Rules....
      Diane and John

    2. Thank you I was looking for something like this book. I have a 17 year old girl whom lives in our do to some other circumstances but talks back always has an excuse for why she smokes weed when I tell her everyday I don't want her smoking in my home, Period