What does Christmas look like for you? Is it gathering with family, heading to church and singing your favourite carol? Or is it eating the delicious pudding your aunty makes?
For many children in Sydney in foster care, Christmas can look completely unfamiliar, strange and daunting.
When a child is placed in foster care it is because of significant risk of harm. We may judge their parents negatively without considering the complexity of issues that parents may be dealing with, such as generation trauma, lack of support, addiction and mental health issues. But, when a child is removed from their parents, they need a lot of support from their foster carers.
During holidays the tension of being with a new family that is eager to have them around while missing their parents can be incredibly overwhelming.
New traditions, foods and conflicting feelings about their parents are big changes for young people. Foster carers are often given the task of holding the chaos and mediating the many feelings that children and young people can have.
Christmas can also be a time of great joy for children and young people in foster care. At Anglicare Sydney we are encouraged by carers who are able to use Christmas time to show value and worth to the young people in their families.
For some children, it is opening their first ever Christmas present or making friends with children in their kids’ program at church.
This Christmas have a think about how the day might look for a child who is away from their parents. We ask you to pray for these little lives for peace that transcends all knowledge and understanding. We also ask you to pray for their carers for compassion and empathy as they support the young people in their care.
If you think you are able to care for a child, become a foster carer. Call us on 02 9890 6800 or email us at [email protected] to know more.