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Field Researcher
Original Poster
#1 Old 16th Mar 2021 at 1:50 AM
Default Realistic foster parent challenge
This challenge uses boolprop, so step away now if that's not for you!


Outline:

The theme of this challenge is to play your sim as a modern day foster parent, with a 'realistic' feel. The dice rolling aspect will add variety to keep things interesting. My suggested end goal is 'Raise 10 foster children to adulthood', but honestly feel free to set your own! There's no point system or competitive aspect. I won't be a hypocrite and say no mods allowed, as I use a bunch myself (toddlers sleeping all night, free clothes rack etc) but don't take the biscuit with them - no motherlode or anything like that. You're welcome to use aspiration and career rewards once earned though.


Game play:

Create an adult sim of any aspiration. Of course 'Family' would make the most sense but you may find gameplay easier with another initially. Their personality needs to have at least 6 nice points, 3 neat points and 3 outgoing points - a mean, filthy, painfully withdrawn sim wouldn't be approved as a foster carer! You may use boolprop to add 4 extra personality points as you wish.

You may have pets but any dogs or cats need to be trained not to pee on the floor or destroy things, and be maxed out with friendliness towards others before you qualify.

I would recommend setting up home on a medium lot. It needs to be a proper house - no random fridge/toilet/bed set up in the middle of a huge open lot! You can always move somewhere bigger later if you can afford to.

For 2 weeks, play with aging off. You can get a job, start a business or raise money through painting etc, but this challenge has a realistic theme so no selling tickets to have droves of random sims wander in and out of your house day and night to watch the TV etc. Likewise try and build skills in a somewhat realistic fashion - no waking up at 3 am to practice the drums, pedaling on the exercise bike for 6 hours straight or stargazing in their underwear during a thunderstorm!

Before the 2 weeks are up your sim needs to have gained 2 cleaning skill and 2 cooking skill points, to prove they can provide a healthy lifestyle for the children they intend to care for, and 2 charisma skill points so they can communicate effectively with the social workers! Moreover they'll need to have fully learned Parenting, Fire safety and Anger Management too. Make sure you allow plenty of time to complete these as we're trying to be realistic, so you can't have your sims binge read everything the day before qualifying! 1 week and 6 days after you started playing, and only if they've completed their 'training' (ie, got the skills just mentioned) your sim becomes a qualified foster parent.

The evening they qualify, roll 1 die. If it's a 3, 4 or 5 they call to adopt, if not continue as they were until the next day, then try again - after all, uncertainty is a large part of fostering!! I decided on 3, 4 and 5 rather than counting from 1 as then you can follow the same rules when your roll double dice later on, and obviously you can't roll a 1 from 2 dice. Make a note of which number you rolled before phoning to adopt because when the child is brought, the age you chose is related to the number. 3=baby, 4=toddler and 5=child.

You'll want to keep that die handy anyway, because when they arrive you roll again to determine the little one's needs and feelings towards their new foster carer. Roll separately for each. For low outcomes (1 or 2) drag the need bars down a lot until they're orange or red. For medium (3 or 4) drag them down to yellow and for higher rolls (5 or 6) either alter them slightly or leave as they are. Which needs are affected and how badly is up to you but it adds interest to have this element of chance, and it's more realistic as very few children would arrive at their foster carers feeling as fulfilled and happy as adopted sims automatically do! Now roll again to see how they feel about their new parent figure. 1 or 2, drag right down to hating them, 3 or 4, make sure they're somewhat negative or completely neutral, 5 or 6 leave as they are or make them somewhat positive.

When each child arrives you may Kaching one time. This is your government allowance for their keep - barely enough to afford a bed and a couple of toys for them, but hey, that's realistic! For an easier game you can continue to kaching once every Monday, but only if you have one or more foster sims on the lot!

So now you have your first little one I should explain the aim of the game... but there isn't one really! You can try and work out a complicated points system based on positive relationships and gained skills and high grades if you like, but to be honest I can never keep track. I just play for the sense of satisfaction in turning little pixelley lives around! Have your sim work on gaining their charges' trust and, hopefully, eventually, love. Teach them to study, encourage positive personality traits, give them a reassuring daily routine, involve them in skill building activities, promote friendships between the fostered siblings, influence them to do chores so they learn to be productive members of society, all that sort of thing. Toddlers all need to be taught to walk, talk and use the potty.

Because these things take time, especially when the little ones are starting from a very negative place, I'm going to say unless you have a mod to extend the life stages then use aging off to tweak at them. This makes everything a bit complicated when you have multiple little ones in the household but they grow up so fast otherwise it would take the enjoyment of it away.

re multiple children, after that initial little one, roll 2 dice every evening. If 3 call to adopt baby, 4 toddler, 5 child, same as before. However if you roll 2/6/7/8/9/10 nothing changes*. If 11 or 12 is rolled that spices things up, because one of the little ones must move out! Foster care is often only meant as a temporary situation after all. You can tell yourself the little one is being moved back to their biological family or on to a permanent home, but I find it simplest to set up a small empty lot with a 'social worker' sim and the tombstone so he or she can summon them. The best laid plans don't always work out though, so next time you roll their age number you may choose to summon the little one back! In such a case knock 20 off the little ones's short and long term relationship with the foster parent, remove 2 personality points and 2 skill points from the little one due to the emotional impact on them, and, if you have a mod, drop children and teens by a grade too.

* If a foster sim that's been summoned out due to a dice roll is a teen, you can get them back if you roll a 6. Similarly if you have an 'adopt teen' mod, go ahead and phone for one after rolling 6.

If you roll a 10 you may decide if you'd like to keep 1 child permanently.

You may wish to play a version where you choose a number (I recommend 8 for an easier game) that equals 'respite care'. See the last point, number 8, on the list below.


Ok, so that's the basic idea. Here are some more detailed rules:

1. Your adult sim may have a job while fostering, ONLY if all children are school age and during school hours. AT NO TIME may the fostered little ones be left alone, with a nanny or in the care of a teen or relative. The foster parent must always be there for them.

2. Realism! I know I've mentioned it before but I'll say it again. I know, this is sims and it's never going to be very realistic, (I mean it can take an hour for them to eat a bowl of cereal!) but try to follow some sort of vaguely human routine. Don't let them get up at 4 am to help the kids with homework, or initiate a water balloon fight in the middle of winter! Meals should be at regular mealtimes etc. On the realism topic, if a little one is doing something undesirable (a toddler eating pet food for example) you shouldn't cancel the action, but instead direct the parent to go and distract them, carry them away and place them else where or whatever. So if a child is splashing in the puddle from a broken sink, you have the adult go and 'encourage neatness', and tell yourself they're explaining why that's not on. Then you can direct the child to mop it up as if the carer has asked them to. Which leads me to...

3. With regards the child skill building, either they do it autonomously, or the foster parent must be involved in persuading them. For example, they can skill through being influenced to clean, cook or garden, or asked to join the parent in a game of chess or a cooking channel session. It doesn't have to be official 'Influence' or 'Ask to join', but use your imagination to set things up similarly before directing a foster child to skill. For example if you want a child to build gardening skill through weeding the tomato plants, have the parent call the child to the greenhouse. There, have the parent talk about nature to the child and start weeding themselves, and only then you can direct the child to weed too. The only exception here is if the child is having a 'good day' (see number 6 below).

4. It's fine to direct the little ones to do things, without adult sim involvement, that aren't in any way helpful or skill building - jumping on the bed, watching a film, playing with a teddy bear etc. Skill building or 'boring' tasks such as putting toys away, doing homework or washing plates need to be suggested by the adult unless they're autonomous. The same goes for needs over 50% fulfilled. Getting showered, taking a plate of food or going to bed with those need bars more than half full can only be player controlled after the foster parent has interacted with the little one.

5. Homework must either be done with the foster parent helping, or after they have spoken to the child. The only exception to this is if a child has 3 or fewer 'serious/playful' points AND has rolled the 'Do homework' want. Foster teens can help with homework or do it for younger children if they have the 'Do Homework' want AND are friends with said child.

6. Obviously it's fine for your sim to build friendships within the community, but the social worker would really not be happy with strangers off the street wandering into the house just because you greeted them when they were jogging along outside! For this reason your sim's short term relationship score needs to be at least 50 points with anyone who comes into the same room as the children. If you have a home business, it either needs to be run in a separate area or only open when the children are at school.

6. Even or odd: because of their past the foster children are emotionally unsettled. Roll the dice for a random child of your choosing once a week to see if they're having an 'Good day' (even) or 'Bad day' (odd). A 'bad day' should include several negative actions or interactions - smashing the doll house, annoying a sibling, not doing homework, running around the house instead of going to bed, letting the pet bird go free, splashing in filthy puddles, making a mess by getting lots of toys/books out, sneaking out etc. If you can, drag aspiration down to get some autonomous tantrums and negative actions too. On the other hand, if they're having a 'good day' you may actually direct the child to skill build, do homework and helpful chores without the input of the foster parent. I've previously mentioned that if you roll a 10 you may decide to keep one of the children in your care. The main benefit of this is that once an adoption has been approved (you've rolled a 10 and decided to keep the child) you can control it always as you would the parents, have it do chores, work on skills, finish homework etc. The stability of being in a permanent home means they no longer have 'bad days'. When you've rolled a 10 and decide to keep a child you may ask a nanny to babysit them, but not any other foster children - so if they're the only child currently on the lot you can have your sim get a job that overruns school hours. However if an officially adopted child or children is/are the only one on the lot you must revert to rolling 1 die each day until you have another foster child.

7. Babies can share the foster parent's bedroom but toddlers should, and children and teens must, have either their own rooms or share with others of the same age and sex. The little ones need a sense of belonging. For this reason their bedding/clothes/toys/bedroom decor needs to be geared towards their individual interests and personality. Not all at once before they come, as foster children often arrive without you knowing anything about them, but over time you can have the parent give them gifts and redecorate to suit them. Birthdays must always be celebrated, not necessarily with a party but with decorations, gifts, attention and a cake. I always celebrate 'adoption' days too, after rolling a 10.

8. I've been testing this challenge for a couple of weeks and now have multiple 'foster households' in my neighbourhood. Everything was going well until this poor sim had a string of bad rolls. She ended up having a breakdown and the little ones were removed from her because she'd ended up with 4 babies, 2 toddlers and a child and just rolled for another toddler. It gave me the 'respite' idea. You're free to choose from 2/7/8/9, but I choose 8. If you roll an 8 you can decide whether to keep playing as you are, or if you'd like, one child can be sent out to a respite placement with another sim family. You can create another sim specially (I have a respite farm where the children are taught to grow vegetables and catch fish - that way they get to bring some back with them!) or just use another family you already have on the go. Use the tombstone to summon the little one to their house. Now you have 3 days to play the foster household without one of the children. Time to rest and recuperate (or carry on frantically trying to keep your simmie parent and the rest of the family alive anyway!) After 3 full days and nights, so on the 4th day, summon them back. Whether or not you chose to keep the little ones at home, rolling your respite number means you get a 3 day break from rolling for a new foster child anyway.

Children going to/from respite do not lose personality or skill points as they do when you roll 11/12 and after summon them back. However if you choose to play them for 3 days in their respite household (and it's up to you if you want to or not) they must be treated the same way there, not being directly controlled to build skills or do homework etc.


So they we are! Sorry that was so long! I think that's everything anyway, but any questions, fire away. Give it a try, and let me know what you think!
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Top Secret Researcher
#2 Old 17th Mar 2021 at 7:28 AM
Thiis does match with a free school my towns will add in my RCC and apocalypse challenge which are both set in the 16th century in the new world.It also matches a foundlings home where babies and toddlers go if their parents can't raise them and a child might go there too.The free school would take in toddlers,children and teens who need skills and can't learn them at home.These would become available as some couples begin having unplanned pregnancies and unwanted babies after the Puritans who were interfaring in Europe's laws begin to cause the same touble in the colonies.
Mad Poster
#3 Old 23rd Mar 2021 at 1:41 PM Last edited by grammapat : 26th Mar 2021 at 7:19 PM.
Love this, well written. I may go a step further and do what I have done in a few hoods: use a modded gnome to "meet" children and teen "townies". These poor orphans living on the street are just moved in, so they don't become "family". I probably would change their personalities to reflect their life on the streets. And I might just generate random toddlers & kids, so they are true "foster kids", not adopted kids.

Namaste... or "go"
Top Secret Researcher
#4 Old 24th Mar 2021 at 6:40 PM
@gammapat -that's not much different than in my games and that Modded gnome is a Simlogical thing and I also have that in my game to get the babies and toddlers into the foundlings home or free school for toddlers and children.I can edit things in Simblender to make a child a part of the family or just have them treated like family.I also use unlocked career reward items like that charisma podium to help out in a case like that as they're getting help from the parish or governemnt depending on the period of your game.Mine get their funds from a parish church or from donations mande by the community.The foundlings home is for when a couple finds themselves with an unplanned baby or a lady got pregnant out of wedlock by accident.
Instructor
#5 Old 1st Apr 2021 at 9:45 PM
Good idea. I'll try it if I can remember the rules.
One note : I read your post all through but I didn't see a limit of children you can foster at the same time (or am i blind ? it's quite possible...). Social worker wouldn't let you have too much children at once in RL, and it would prevent nervous breakdowns ...

I believe in the "Thanks" button and its amazing powers !!!
Field Researcher
Original Poster
#6 Old 2nd Apr 2021 at 10:30 AM
That's true! I like the 'heart in my mouth' moment of rolling the dice when already struggling though! It makes it more of a challenge. But you could certainly play with a limit if that's how you'd prefer it. Probably 3 would be about right, with a single adult.
Top Secret Researcher
#7 Old 2nd Apr 2021 at 4:03 PM
I'm fitting this in with my historical games as a part of what those towns did to deal with unwanted babies,toddlers and children or children parents were unable to raise in hard times back in the old times.My Pleasantview EPic Challenge is set in the 17th century when the new world was being colonized by the new RCC colonial act.I use Modded objects to add the babies,toddlers and children to a new household like they got sent to the foundlings home or a free vocational trade school to be raised there.
Mad Poster
#8 Old 1st May 2021 at 9:36 PM
Poor caretaker was so fixated on having her own baby, I had her abducted. Had to have a nanny. But (thanks to a "realistic" mod) during the pregnancy her needs were so low she lost her baby, went nuts...and died!

Namaste... or "go"
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