Two days away from Christmas day, and many children around the country are with their foster families spending Christmas with them.
Fostering a child, through Christmas can have it’s own challenges, but be assured it’s well worth it, as Christmas is a festive time, and the time for giving, sharing and making others feel welcome. It’s also something that children will remember for life.
Most children spend the Christmas periods with their birth families, with their relatives etc. Some children in care may have had such experiences, and others may have had bad experiences of Christmas and the festive season. Some may not be from a background which celebrates Christmas.
It’s important for carers to understand this and take a different approach where needed.
For example, if Christmas is celebrated in a carer’s family environment, and a young person or child is from a background where Christmas isn’t celebrated, there needs to be some form of recognition and involvement, or an understanding if a child doesn’t want to take part. On the contrary, if a carer’s family doesn’t celebrate Christmas, and a young person celebrates Christmas, there also needs to be recognition of that and extra effort put in to ensure that the child or young person feels at home and comfortable. As a blogger on the Community Care blog wrote (you can find the blog post here, its a great read), you can even call it a “Winter Celebration”; that way everybody can take part in the fun!
Or for instance, a child or young person isn’t fitting in well as it’s the first time they are spending Christmas away from their birth family – but cannot be with the birth family for various reasons; making them seem included is very important. Something as simple as having a few cards for them as the family members give each other Christmas cards could give them that much needed sense of inclusion. Also a few Christmas presents, they don’t have to be expensive, would also make them feel like they’re included.
A lot of young people come out of foster care and remember events and celebrations, and Christmas is one of them. As they grow older, they would remember how their foster family gave them cards and gifts and treated them as if they were part of their household – that’s where the sense of pride in fostering is!
If you are interested in becoming a foster carer, and are in employment or not, give us a call on 02033973332 (London) or 01616383391 (North England) or click here to get in touch with us via our website.