The holiday season can be a stressful time, but it is especially difficult for young people who’ve been removed from their homes. Whether you currently care for a foster child or know someone who does, here are 4 ways to create a foster-friendly environment:
- Ask the foster children in your life about their family traditions. To show your child that you value their personal background, ask about their personal holiday experiences and rituals. Then, communicate that they are welcome to bring those experiences—which are a part of who they are—into the home. This creates a more inclusive environment and serves as a gesture of your commitment to integrating them into your family.
- Prepare the child for get-togethers. To avoid any unpleasant surprises, talk to your foster child about what they should expect when you go to family gatherings. Are there games that you all play? Inside jokes? Strong personalities to brace for? This information can help ease your foster child’s anxiety and equip them to navigate new situations.
- Ask your case manager about family contact. The holidays can be a challenging, sentimental time. Your child may feel a little more secure and supported if they’re able to connect with people in their lives who feel like home. If visits are not an option, ask your case manager if it’s possible to communicate via homemade Christmas cards and gifts.
- Be patient (with your child and yourself).The holiday season can be charged with extra stress, loneliness, and complicated family dynamics. This is true for most people, but especially true for children who’ve been removed from their homes. Give yourself grace as you try to figure out ways to create a loving environment and show empathy for your foster child who is likely struggling to make sense of their new world.
If you do not currently have foster children in your home but want to help this vulnerable group during the holidays season, please consider participating in our LSF Angel Tree Toy Drive.
“We thank you for your support of LSF and hope you or your business will consider supporting children in need by requesting to support a specific “Christmas Angel” or by making a flexible donation which we will use to purchase holiday gifts. This opportunity to impact a child’s holiday is one that is incredibly rewarding for us and one we hope you will find rewarding as well. Any and all donations are greatly appreciated.” – Lisa Mayrose, Vice President of Operations at Lutheran Services Florida.
There are three ways to participate:
- Request an angel, and then purchase the items (all or partial) on that card for the child you receive.
- Purchase items off of LSF’s Amazon wish list to help our team fill the gaps.
- Donate directly, and our team will use the funds to purchase items from a foster child’s wish list.
Visit LSFNET.ORG/CHRISTMASANGELS for more information.
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