Being a foster parent during Christmas can present a new set of challenges. While the festive period is usually a magical time of the year, memories from the young person living with their biological families may return, and they may even feel excluded as families celebrate with loved ones and continue long-standing traditions.
Despite this, it’s possible to create new and exciting memories around the Christmas holidays for the young people in your care, as you invite them in to share the special occasion with you. It might be the first experience of them feeling like a valued member of a family.
Keep reading as we discuss tips for foster parenting during Christmas, and how to create a warm and festive environment for the young people in your care.
Prepare the young person for any festive plans:
It’s common for more plans to be made during the festive period. Between visiting friends/family, attending Christmas markets/fares, Santa’s Grotto, and everything else in between, the young person if your care may become overwhelmed.
Prepare the young person by making them aware of plans ahead of time. Consider using resources such as a calendar and mark the dates when you have activities or events planned. This can help to eliminate any feelings of uncertainty or anxiety. Discuss what these activities usually involve so they know what to prepare for and answer any questions they might have.
Document memories throughout the festive period:
As a foster parent during the festive period, you can capture and document special moments during the holiday season. This can include taking photos, creating scrapbooks together, or encouraging the young person to write about their experiences. Keep any arts and crafts they make in a safe space, along with any special memorabilia such as stockings or Christmas decorations.
If you are fostering siblings, ensure that both young people have their own photographs and memorabilia that they will be able to look back on if/when they want to.
Create new traditions together:
It’s important to continue family traditions, especially if you have birth children living in the home with you. However, you can also add and create new traditions with the young person in your care. Ask if there’s anything specific they would like to do, and combine their hobbies and interests if you can. This might be their first experience of creating traditions, helping to make the experience even more exciting!
Manage your expectations:
Be mindful of managing expectations, both yours and the young persons. Not every holiday will be perfect, and it’s okay to adjust plans based on the needs and preferences of the children. Christmas can be an emotional time for looked after children, and they may feel confused and sad about why they aren’t with their biological family. It may even bring up some bad memories for them. If possible, speak to the young person about the way they are feeling and reassure them that it’s okay.
Fostering during the holidays provides an opportunity to create a nurturing and festive environment for children who may have faced challenges. By incorporating these tips for foster parenting during Christmas, you can contribute to making the season a positive and memorable experience for the children in your foster care!
Could You Be a Foster Parent?
The shortage of foster carers in the UK greatly affects vulnerable children.
This can result in children being placed far from their loved ones and being separated from their siblings, as well as their school and friends.
Did you know that historically, 70-80% of foster placements have been within 20 miles of the child’s home? While this benefits many children who can maintain their school and friendship groups, it also means that 20-30% of placements are further away.
For children coming to live with our foster families at an average age of 10, a change of school is often inevitable. However, we are dedicated to finding families in local areas with high demand to minimise disruptions.
If you live in the Northwest or the Midlands and are interested in exploring becoming a foster carer, we are here to support you every step of the way.
Get in touch with us by completing our short inquiry form online or call us at 0800 5 677677.
There is no obligation for anything more than a chat.
Embarking on the journey of fostering is a significant decision that can profoundly impact your family and the life of a young person in need.
By preparing yourself, choosing the right time and place for conversations, and approaching the topic with openness and honesty, you can foster a supportive and understanding environment.
Addressing concerns, sharing resources, seeking professional guidance when needed, and showing patience and understanding are essential steps in navigating this process together.
Family Care understands the importance of support for foster carers and is committed to providing the necessary assistance throughout this incredible journey.
With our dedicated team by your side, you can begin this fulfilling experience knowing that help and guidance are just a call away.
Together, you can make a positive difference in a child’s life, creating a loving and nurturing home that will leave a lasting impact.