It takes a village to raise a child - foster care at Christmas

15 December 2020

Amy has always loved Christmas and the sense of belonging that each Christmas day signified.

Image: A young girl putting Christmas decorations on a tree in a living room. There are stockings hung up and the room is dark with the Christmas lights on.

As a carer, she knows this warm Christmas feeling is not the experience of all people, and for children in care, this time of year can be one of sadness and loss.

In response, Amy focuses on the individual needs of each child in developing ways to help bring excitement and joy – but she doesn’t do this alone.

“It’s always been my philosophy that it takes a village to raise a child, and there’s no better time to demonstrate this than at Christmas,” said Amy.

“My goal is to support children by knowing who needs to be a part of their Christmas festivities to make it really special.”

Last Christmas, Amy was caring for a young man who was not able to see his mother on Christmas day. She got to work rounding up ‘the village’, arranging for mum and son to be together at a local community event.

“Seeing his mum for Christmas was the biggest wish he had,” said Amy.

“The best part was finding out my local church caters Christmas Eve dinner for the community, so I asked his mum if she’d like to come along. It was magic”.

Amy’s carer support worker from Life Without Barriers, Linda Maynard, said: “Amy is one of those amazing carers who always actively supports the children in her care to establish and maintain family connections.”

Amy is looking forward to having a young lady come into her care just before Christmas.

“We’re working on arranging some time together with her family, and we’ll ensure there are loads of phone, video and text messages - and something for her family to open from her on Christmas Day.

“This young person has a great relationship with her current carer, so we have invited her along for our Christmas Eve dinner,” she said.

“Growing up knowing they are loved and supported is worth so much more than presents they will grow out of,” added Amy.

Image: Amy N

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