As the Christmas holiday is less than 24 hours away, we here at FCNI are reflecting on all the ways our amazing Central Coast community gives towards our efforts throughout the year. One of the most vital ways that you give throughout the year is with your time—probably the most precious commodity we each possess.
Welcome to our Blog! We post weekly articles written on a variety of topics from a variety of people, including our staff, volunteers, community members, and our parents and youth. The Voices of our Blog are opinion pieces, reflecting the diverse experiences and viewpoints of our community. These articles are not meant to represent the views of everyone at FCNI, our Board of Directors and staff, or present a definitive policy statement, but are designed to be informative and thought-provoking.
The classic Christmas song, “I’ll be Home for Christmas,” may be bring up sentimental images of Bing Crosby and falling snow, but for a foster child, the longing for “home” is very real. As foster parents, we often feel a lot of pressure to try to make the holidays as “normal” as possible for our families while also considering the needs of the traumatized child who is living with us. Here are a few practical ideas for foster families during the holidays:
Are the holidays worth it? With all we hear about the increase in depression and stress, would we, as people, be better off doing the bare minimum for the holidays or maybe skipping them all together? It’s so difficult to manage complexities in our families during the holidays, including different expectations, religions, values, personalities and lifestyles. Does getting together to celebrate create more conflict than warm fuzzies?
Sir Winston Churchill once said “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” These words have always inhabited my thoughts; a simple, profound truth. Think for a moment what it would be like if we were all obsessed by what we gave and not with what we get. Greed only corrupts the human heart–compassion invigorates it!
Nobody can dispute the value to a child, whether in the foster care system or not, of having a Permanent Family. In my 40 something years of working within the Child Welfare System, the public policy shift to Safety, Wellbeing and Permanency has been fantastic – absolutely in the best interest of kids within the system. In the past 15 years, the number of children and youth in the foster care system has dropped by around 27%; much of this attributable to moving kids quickly to permanency.