New Year, New Season, New Hope
We hope everyone is off to a great start in 2015! Speaking of the brand new year ahead of us, full to the brim with possibilities, today we’re focusing on the importance of a New Year in the world of fostering.
The 1st of January is not only the beginning of a new calendar year, and a new diary: around the world it is symbolic. The fact that common themes crop up time and time again is no coincidence. Almost everywhere, a new year is viewed as:
• a time for setting things straight
• a thorough housecleaning
• paying off debts
• reflecting on one’s shortcomings
• mending quarrels with others
And these points, to varying degrees, apply to just about everyone. With this post, however, we’ll discuss how the New Year comes with added meaning for foster children.
A Season of Structure
A foster child shouldn’t find themselves facing the new year ahead of them as another set of 12 months – or another series of placements – to get through. It’s part of your role as a foster carer to encourage them to better themselves during your time together: through school, improving all aspects of their education, and encouraging positive self-esteem. Value your time together, and make it valuable.
The new year is also a new opportunity for you to update your placement records and keep them current, as they are supposed to be detailed documents of your time spent with your foster child.
A Season of Social Support
Showing your foster child due care, patience and a sense of humour is an important part of the picture, but certainly isn’t the whole of it. It’s crucial for them to build on and maintain their relationships outside of the home environment, regardless of how long they spend with you.
Think of it this way: you’ve offered them shelter, but shelter alone isn’t enough to fulfill one’s potential. You need to equip them with the skills and coping mechanisms to excel in life. If you don’t strive for this, who will?
At Perpetual Fostering we hope these serve as pointers for how to approach 2015: whether you’re embarking on a new journey with a foster child, or in the midst of a placement. If you are a carer, and find you need some advice or guidance for the year ahead, don’t hesitate to check how we support our foster carers, or reach out to us directly.