Wednesday, November 25, 2020


Look, the Christmas holiday is complicated enough in fostering without pandemic fears, lockdown confusion, tiers, masks, distancing etc etc etc etc etc .


You're a ten year-old who's been separated from their real family and installed in a strange new home with people you've never met before in a house with strange rooms, unfamiliar smells and furniture, a toilet and shower you had to learn to use. Everything is new and unusual.

You're in fear. What did you do wrong to have this happen? They keep saying it's not your fault but all your life everything's been your fault.

All you want is to go home, at least you knew where you stood with the conflicts and chaos. 

You desperately need to know that your parents and the rest of your family aren't ill.

And now here comes Christmas, a time when you got given stuff, sometimes not much, sometimes too much (you don't understand the politics of over-compensation). What will happen this year?

Imagine that.

Or, imagine this;

You're a thirty-something adult whose life in in disarry. You can't make ends meet so you have to scheme and struggle to raise the cash to buy your essentials. Plus the dodgepot who supplies your essentials has just been busted.

Your partner is being a total pain and the police didn't understand your side of it they just wanted to nail you both for something you never did.

Then your kids got taken away and everyone thinks you are a bad parent not that you get to see anyone any more when you're meant to spend all day in your tiny terraced house which the council only gave you because you had kids so they'll probably boot you out any minute.

Imagine that.

Now imagine this;

You're a forty-something foster mum who has to organise some kind of Christmas for your own family while observing the rules about mixing AND organise some sort of acceptable Christmas between the foster child and the child's family. Something that will be (somehow) good for the child, maybe even good for the child's family.

Good luck.

Oh yes, and now imagine this;

You're  a Blue Sky Social Worker whose job (one of many, many others) is to oversee the whole kish and kiboodle not just for the above scenario, but for a bunch of others on your books. All of whom have the same headache only slightly different in every case.

On top of that...the 7 days between Christmas Day and New Years day is the busiest time in fostering with more children having to be taken into care than at any other time. Only this year is likely to be the worst ever because countless families have already got fed up with each other long before the previously welcomed spate of endless days stuck with each other's company comes along.

This isn't a 'Bah Humbug!' BTW.

I still can't wait for Christmas, even though I'm not a Christian. I love the holiday so much it makes me wish I was Jewish and Muslim and Hindu and Sikh so I could get excited about Hanukkah, Ramadan and Diwali. 

Maybe that'll be my New Year Resolution.

Oh wait. I traditionally resolve to lose ten pounds in weight and to stick to a diet.

A resolution which I traditionally trash every January 3rd.


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