For many, Christmas is a time that’s better spent with family and friends. Sadly, for lots of foster children it can be emotionally challenging because they don’t get to spend it with their families.
Whether or not you’re a foster carer, there are numerous ways that you can help bring joy to a foster child at Christmas. After all, it takes a village to raise a child.
In an article we shared last Christmas, we explored some ways that you can navigate the holiday with a foster child. They include:
• Helping the child feel more connected to their birth family;
• Being attentive to their emotions;
• Involving them in your family traditions;
• Being prepared for when things don't go to plan; and
• Creating new traditions with your foster child.
The biggest thing to remember is that your foster child is likely to miss their family even more at this time of the year. Because of this, it’s important to be mindful of their emotions and support them in ways that could help them feel more connected to their family. This could include listening to their stories, adopting some of their traditions and helping them create gifts for their loved ones.
Charities like Anglicare Southern Queensland support the most vulnerable in the community by providing them with services to assist them during their times of need. As a registered charity, we are asking the community to donate to our Christmas Appeal, where funds raised will help provide children in care, and their carers, the special Christmas they deserve.
By donating to a foster care agency, you can provide children and young people with the opportunity to experience a Christmas of joy and belonging. Donations can provide:
• Foster children with a special Christmas gift
• Children in care with opportunities to explore their passions through extra-curricular activities
• Groceries and essentials to support a foster family
• Short holiday breaks for foster parents and children to experience a 'family holiday.'
To donate to Anglicare Southern Queensland’s Christmas Appeal and give foster children and their carers the gift of hope this Christmas, visit: https://giving.anglicaresq.org.au/
Often, Christmas can be just as stressful for carers as it is for the children that they care for. Between balancing the chaos that’s associated with the Christmas season and the emotions of the young people that they’re caring for; they may be likely to experience an extra sense of pressure.
If you personally know a foster carer, make sure to reach out to them and offer a helping hand or listening ear. What might seem like the smallest deed to you could mean a whole lot more to a foster carer.
Another way that you can make a difference to a foster child at Christmas is by becoming a foster carer in QLD. There are many carer options available, so even if you lead a busy lifestyle, there are shorter-term carer arrangements, like respite, available. Respite care is a great foster care option as it gives long-term carers the opportunity to take well-earned breaks, especially around Christmas time.