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Do’s & Don’ts of Fostering During the Holidays

The end-of-year holiday season is typically associated with cheer, family, food and joy! And while the holiday season is favorable for many of us, that’s not always the case for current or former foster youth.

The holidays are commonly associated with family and togetherness and can bring up – and out – a lot of conflicting feelings and emotions for those not being cared for by their biological parents.

So, what can foster parents and others do to make foster youth feel more comfortable around the holidays? Consider these do’s and don’ts this season.

  • Do: Talk to Foster Youth Before the Holidays Kick Off
  • Do: Incorporate Their Traditions and Customs
  • Do: Include Their Wider Community
  • Don’t: Make Them Feel Unequal or Unwelcome
  • Don’t: Ignore Their Feelings or Mental Health

We hope these little tidbits of information and advice help you have a more enjoyable holiday season! Happy Holidays to you and all your loved ones!

Source: Alternative Family Services

Anticipate challenges during the holiday season.

 As you and your family start celebrating the holidays, there is sure to be a change in your routine. Changes in routine can lead to negative behaviors. Here’s some ways you can prepare for such events.

THINK: How can I make my foster child’s experience more inviting?

Ask them what to expect before the event or holiday gathering. Stay close by and let them know their presence is wanted. Consider having books, games, and snacks on hand and visible to help them redirect from any uncomfortable feelings.

Meet Kristen Allen

Kristen Allen started her journey in foster care in February 2019, when an adorable 7-month-old baby boy, Brayden, was placed in her home. A year and a half later, in November 2020, during National Adoption Day, Ms. Allen was able to adopt him!

 

As a family they enjoy spending time with previous placements; some have reunited with family and others have been adopted. Ms. Allen feels that keeping these relationships helps her foster children connect with other kids who understand what it’s like to be a foster child.

TRAINING CORNER

How to Manage School Refusal

When kids refuse to go to school, it can be stressful for parents and teachers alike. You may wonder: Why are they acting out like this? What if they’re never willing to go back to school?

Different kids resist or refuse school in different ways… Dec. trainings_GayleREAD MORE

Need Additional Training?

Find classes HERE

  • Compassion Fatigue & Secondary Stress
  • Mental Heal Basics
  • Cultural Competency

The Family Initiative Recruitment Team is everywhere this holiday season, and we hope to see you!

OKLAHOMA

On November 28th, Oklahoma recruiters met with DHS in Wagoner County to collaborate on recruiting more foster parents in that area of the state. Interestingly, Oklahoma DHS also has recruitment incentives right now, so newly recruited foster homes from our TFI families would result in our agency incentives PLUS the incentives offered by DHS!

KANSAS

On November 29th, Kansas recruiters participated in the Coffeyville Christmas parade. Then, on December 1st, they represented TFI at Christmas in Heartland. Again, on December 7th, our Kansas recruiters participated in the Parsons Christmas parade.

TEXAS

Our Texas recruiter has been busy building connections with The Lion’s Club in Cooke County. She will be serving hot chocolate at the City of Lights Christmas Parade in Wichita Falls on December 16th.

We are so grateful for each one of our families, especially during this special season. Thank you for who you are and for what you do in every season!

FUND DEVELOPMENT

Happy holidays from Fund Development!

We recently hosted our annual holiday fundraiser to raise money to purchase gifts for kids in foster care! The TFI community gave nearly $8,000 to benefit the youth we serve! Over 300 kids in foster care will be receiving gifts, some for the first time in their short lives. Thanks to those who were a part of that!

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any ideas for ways we could help, contacts, questions or fun stories of generosity.

 

Oklahoma/Kansas/Nebraska: Steven Mandeville | 918-894-8727 | smandeville@tfifamily.org

West Texas: Lisa Reed | 940-536-0118 | lreed@tfifamily.org

Dallas: Amanda Ward; 972-672-5948 | award@tfifamily.org

Below are our foster parents celebrating a milestone anniversary as a TFI Foster Parent! We love having you as part of Team TFI!

21 years

 Ray & Karen Berry

19 years

 Ray & Sharon Young

17 years

Robert & Linda Gibson

5 years

 Wesley & Tabatha Roberts

1 year 

 Shawn & Lucretia Calonder

Jesse Fulgium

Juana Guerra

Matthew Herheim & Tina Grzeskiewicz

Anthony & Natashia Nave.
Golda Cisco & Rockel Moore

Xander & Chelsey Singleton

 Teresa Lane & Nikita Watts