Fostering at Christmas
Christmas is a special time of year when families come together to celebrate the holiday season. However, for some children and young people in care, this can be a difficult time and a time when they might feel most alone. As Christmas is very much promoted as a vision of the perfect family enjoying the festivities, it can emphasise for some children, the absence of their family.
A child or young person may have never experienced and had their own Christmas before, or even the festivities that come along with the jolly period. Talk about Christmas with your child, let them know your attitudes and traditions towards the day. This will help the child in your care to know what to expect. Try to encourage them to share their past Christmas experiences and traditions with you and the positive memories that they have.
It is important for foster carers to understand how the children in their care may be feeling and to ensure they feel a sense of belonging in the household and within their family. A child may feel a sense of guilt, loss, fear or sadness over the festive period. This may result in the child deliberately disrupting Christmas and isolating themselves as a way of dealing with their feelings and expecting disappointment. Therefore, it is key for the foster carers to support the child and manage their behaviour appropriately with patience and empathy.
Keeping to a routine over the Christmas period will help your child or young person to cope over the holiday. Together, plan a Christmas calendar where you can put in upcoming activities and events that are taking place. Talk through any worries or constraints that your young person may have. Help them to feel a part of the family and welcome, this will help to reduce their fears and anxiety.
Involve your child or young person over the Christmas time, get them involved in the shopping, picking out the Christmas menu and decorations! Talk through with your child or young person of anyone who may be visiting, this will help them to be aware of who they are meeting and why. This will help them to create great memories of the holiday.
If you would like to know more about becoming a foster carer and providing a safe, loving home for a child or young person. Please contact our recruitment team on 02087 990 930.