The holidays can be a difficult time for children and youth in foster care. We must be mindful that our youth can be overcome with great sadness when they think about their loved ones who are not with them every day, and this sadness can be intensified during a time when the rest of us are celebrating our relationships with friends and family members.
We encourage you to preserve the goodness of families. We believe that even in families where abuse and neglect have been part of the familial experience, there are good moments that we must preserve. For some children and youth in foster care, their memories are the only fragments that remain of their birth family. The holiday season is a great time to encourage foster children and youth to tell their stories, and for us to listen to and validate their experiences.
We also must recognize the experiences of loss and grief that birth families face when separated from their children over the holidays. Birth family members need our support and understanding as well during this time.
We’ve included a special holiday activity in our newsletter that you could share with your clients, whether they be children, adolescents, foster parents, adoptive parents, or birth parents. Perhaps your own family would benefit from it as well, as most of us over the next few weeks will find ourselves thinking of someone we wish were here with us.
Wishing wellness for you and yours,