The holiday season is often filled with joy, laughs, family, presents, and warm feelings. For those in the foster care system, it can be quite a different experience. It is important to know how you can best help kids in the system this season. Whether you have kids in your home this season, or you want to help out your local foster care system, these tips can help!
- Extend an Invitation
Many times all foster kids want is to feel included in the festivities of the season. Whether you are going sledding, to see Santa at the mall, or to a family gathering, if the event allows, inviting a kid to join can change their whole outlook on the season. Make sure to check with the rules of your local foster care system to make sure you are complying with the guidelines. Remember what might seem like just another day to you, may be the light at the end of the tunnel for that child.
- Donate Gifts to Local Organizations
If you yourself do not have any kids in your home for the holidays, you can still make an impact on others in the community. Whether it’s one small present or a whole delivery, everything makes a difference. A fun idea you can implement in your family is you can take your kids shopping for a gift for a special kid in the system. It helps spread awareness and educate your kids on the privilege they might not have known they had.
- Be Understanding of Behavioral Reactions
Oftentimes you do not know the backstory of the kids inside the foster care system. It is hard to know their triggers, their history, and their present disabilities, and the holidays can often amplify those reactions. Try to remember the developmental age of the children you foster. Their physical age and developmental age might not always match up. Lastly, expressions of gratitude don’t often come easy to kids in foster care. Not because they aren’t grateful, but more often because they are in survival mode, especially during the holidays.
Overall, the holidays may be a special time for most, but it could be a special time for all if we all do our part to help those within the foster care system. Here at Choices for Life we have lots of ways you can help, donate or volunteer. Whether you are wanting to open your home to a child in need or are just looking to donate, please contact us on our website for more information!