Somerset Foster Carers have joined together, to create a blog on how to give a foster child a happier Christmas.
Christmas can be a difficult time for foster children and challenging for those who look after them. Experienced carers have shared some great ideas and photos in the blog, on the fostering and adoption website fosteradoptsomerset.org.uk, all about how they make a real difference to a child’s experience of Christmas.
Dave Cowler, who has been fostering with Somerset County Council for over fifteen years, said: “It’s a time of the year which can produce lots of different emotions in any child, but more so in our foster children. We now have a yearly trip to a Christmas fantasy weekend at Butlins. It really helps ease those feelings, and seems to have become a yearly ritual as all the children seem to enjoy it so much“.
Paula Martin, fostering for nearly eight years, explained: “Some children haven’t even seen an advent calendar before, so it’s a chance to create some real Christmas magic for them: Baking mince pies, lighting candles and enjoying ‘Elf on the shelf’ fun”.
Foster carer Sarah Jane helps ease her foster child’s emotions, with special Christmas bedding and a ‘worry monster’ to share her anxieties. She also meets up with other foster carers and children for activities such as a ‘Christmas lights walk’ going ice skating and having hot chocolate:
“They are a bit wobbly on the ice at first but gradually their confidence blooms – it’s great to see”.
Councillor Frances Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Children and Families said: “I am delighted to take this opportunity to raise awareness of the excellent work done by foster carers, they do an extraordinary job.”
“Dedicated foster caring can make the world of difference to a child, and it can also be hugely rewarding. We are so grateful to the foster carers we have, but we always need more. We would urge anyone who has an interest, to contact us and find out what Somerset County Council can offer them.”