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5 ways to manage Father’s Day with foster children


Father’s Day can be a challenging time for foster children – this day may cause feelings of loss and abandonment to resurface and can overall be a difficult time for your foster child.

As a child in foster care, Father’s Day is likely to cause them to dwell on their own relationships with their birth father. Their father may have died, developed a critical illness or just is simply unable to look after them for a number of reasons. 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.      Acknowledge the child’s pain

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.

If their father has passed away, you may want to ask them if they would like to commemorate him in some way. This could be by lighting a candle and saying a prayer, visiting a local place of worship or putting flowers at their graveside.

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. 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 that 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 the day beforehand

It’s important to gage 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, your foster child may be more likely to exhibit feelings of anger or to become more distracted than usual. 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 due to their behaviour.

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 whose fathers are no longer with them.

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 or buying them a toy they have been wanting for a long time.

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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