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5 ways to manage Father's Day for children in foster care

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Father's Day can be a challenging time for children in foster care - and supporting foster children through this time requires sensitivity and understanding. Every foster child's feelings towards their father will be different depending on their personal situation. If your foster child has experienced a lack of a stable father figure in their lives, Father’s Day can evoke feelings of loss and abandonment.

As a child in foster care, Father’s Day is likely to remind your foster child about their own relationships with their birth father. Foster care situations often have complex family dynamics and there may be a number of reasons for your foster child to be taken into foster care. In this informative guide, we highlight ways in which you can make this day less daunting for your foster child.

Tips for Father’s Day with foster children

1. Validate your foster child’s emotions about Father’s Day

If your foster child is angry or upset because of Father’s Day, it is important that you address this with them. Allow them to open up and express their feelings, as this will allow them to feel safer on the day. Reassure them that it’s completely normal for them to feel this way and that you will best support them how they wish.

Remember, here at Capstone Foster Care, we offer full training and support, including helping children to deal with change. You’ll also have access to a network of other foster carers in your area, who will have experience in similar situations.   

2. If you have biological children, ensure they are inclusive of your foster child

If your foster children wish to be included in the celebrations, it is important to communicate to your own children that they should involve your foster child(ren) also. You can even find specific Cards celebrating Father’s Day for Foster Dads. If you are organising something special for Father’s Day, it’s vital you get everybody involved so that they do not feel isolated from the rest of the family.

However, if it is the case that your foster child doesn’t want to join in on the celebrations – it is important you don’t force them to participate if they don’t want to.

3. Talk about how they feel about Father’s Day beforehand

It’s important to gauge their feelings towards the day before it approaches – they may want to buy a card and a gift and partake in the day. However, it’s possible they might not want to even acknowledge the day whatsoever. It is important you decipher what their feelings are towards Father’s Day before it comes so you can better approach the situation head-first when it arrives.

4. Communicate with other important adults in your child’s life

During this time, if your foster child is exhibiting feelings of anger or challenging behaviour because of the way Father’s Day makes them feel. It is important to notify other adults such as teachers, football coaches, their friend’s parents, or any other person that they may interact with on a regular basis – this will also limit any potential conflicts they may have. It will also encourage other adults to be more empathetic and understanding towards the situation.

It also may allow their teacher to adapt their teaching plan – for instance, kids often make cards for Father’s Day in school during this time. This will allow the teacher to facilitate for children who may have difficult or no relationships with their father’s.

5. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate

The way you celebrate Father’s Day should be decided by the child – there is no right or wrong way to celebrate. Let them lead the day, and if they wish to partake, they can! If not, they need to be reassured that that’s okay, too. The best you can do is try to comfort them as much as possible. A good idea could be to distract them by organising a nice day out.

If you ever need any fostering support during how to handle this tricky time, our team are on hand 24/7 to address any fostering concern you may have. Learn more about managing other occasions, such as Mother's Day, with foster children from our guide.

Contact a member of our friendly team now for support around managing Father’s Day with foster children.

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