One of our wonderful Foster Carers provides insight into a Christmas in a fostering household.
The festive period is a time for families to get together over Christmas and spend quality time with each other. This year, things are a little different with current rules allowing a mix of three households over the Christmas period (23rd – 27th December) due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is a challenging time of year, particularly if you are a young person in care.
With this in mind, we asked one of their Foster Carers what comes to mind when thinking about Christmas time; both as a fostering family and how to best help a Looked After Child.
Richard Pearce, a Blue Sky Foster Carer, gave this advice:
“I would say to try and keep everything as predictable and planned as possible, keep everything calm.
Acknowledge it can be very difficult for the child. You might be very excited about having family around, but for them, it can be a big reminder that they are not with their families and it’s about accepting that and acknowledging it.”
In order to help young people in care feel more at home during Christmas, Richard suggested:
“Also, talk to them about past Christmases, and if they have some positive memories try and incorporate those into how you celebrate. I always like to take them shopping, maybe for gifts for birth family so they have marked it in some way. This isn’t always possible for a child, but all children are different.
Lots of foster children have difficulty explaining how they are feeling, and you might get a whole set of behaviours thrown at you. They may not even be able to label how they are feeling, they may just feel upset but not be able to acknowledge that it’s because its Christmas and they are not with their family. It’s a very complicated time of year.”
Richard concluded with a message to his fellow Foster Carers:
“I do think, though, that us Foster Carers should remind ourselves what a difference we are making. Even if a young person can't show you appreciation, chances are this could be their first experience of how magical Christmas can be.”
If you could provide a seat at next year’s Christmas dinner and join Richard Pearce as a Blue Sky Foster Carer, then enquire today or call 0800 035 6499 for more information on how to start your fostering journey.