Fostering children is important all year round – but it’s an extra special thing to do at Christmas. Fostering in Bradford is Bradford Council’s fostering service and provides support to over 500 foster families and over 1000 children and young people in foster care.
Foster carers are ordinary people doing something extraordinary - playing a vital role looking after some of our district’s most vulnerable children and young people. This Christmas, Fostering in Bradford is sharing the experiences of some of our foster carers to inspire people in the district to open up their hearts and homes to make a magical difference and do something extraordinary - foster.
Amanda tells us why she loves Christmas now she’s a foster carer:
“As a married couple without our own children, unfortunately we missed Santa every year.
We started off doing part-time foster care on evenings and weekends before changing to full-time short and long term fostering – now I’m like a kid in a sweet shop, spoiling all the lovely children who are in our care at Christmas.
My only regret is that I wished I’d started fostering in my twenties instead of my forties. Now in our fifties, I couldn’t be happier with the fostering community we are part of." - Amanda
Below, some of our carers share moments from previous Christmases to inspire and motivate more people to help children and young people by becoming foster carers.
Foster carer Adrian tells us how he helps a child away from their family enjoy Christmas
“You make it as easy as possible for them. We are short-term foster carers, so we have had children move in right before Christmas, so we know to always keep a stock of toys and extra chocolates just in case. My mum was a foster carer before we signed up so we’ve had a lot of Christmases fostering in the family – you’ve got to get organised, plan so the children can see their families, talk to their family so they know what’s going on and you don’t end up duplicating presents and make sure you’ve got a big freezer!”
The festive period is a time for families to celebrate with each other. For a child in care who is not living with their birth family, it can be emotional and confusing.
“We foster 3 siblings [2 sisters and their brother] long term and the joy on their faces at Christmas has always been wonderful, but they can be easily overwhelmed, scared and upset, so we plan and involve them in absolutely everything so they are prepared – decorations, present buying, even choosing the food to eat. It helps them feel more comfortable if they know what’s going on. We make it fun.” - Wayne
Christmas is different for every family
“We have lots of silly traditions. We also make sure that everyone in our household has a decoration with their name on. We had a foster carer and their foster child join us once. Christmas in our house is always different and everyone is expected to muck in. We just let people decide what they eat from the centre of the table. We don’t mind if they only eat sausages and stuffing.” - Fraser
Tips for navigating Christmas as a foster carer
“Some days it can be hard, but knowing that I’m helping a teenager, my niece, who is in need of stability and love makes everything better. My top tips are trust yourself – you can do this! And it’s not the gifts that count, it the fact that you are there, present, in the moment with this child, giving them this positive experience of Christmas.” - Kristal
Would you like to be a foster carer by next Christmas?
If you think you could make a difference to a child’s life, please get in touch with us. We are always looking for loving, caring homes for children and young people who have no place to call home.
Book your call back via the button below:
Book a call back today and speak to a member of our team about fostering a child in the Bradford district.
“We’ve been fostering for 21 years and have looked after more than 35 children over that time. My top tip is to be very understanding and patient as Christmas might be stressful for the children.” Karen
"when you see the delight on a foster child’s face when he sees Santa has been! But seeing him so sad when he’s missing his birth family is a real low.” Raechel