Kia ora, Talofa, Kia orana, Bula vinaka, Talofa ni, Malo e lelei, Fakaalofa lahi atu, Ni hao and Hello.
As the year comes to an end over this next month, I would like to take this opportunity to give thanks to you, the amazing, selfless caregivers out there who have such huge hearts for what you do.
And yes, folks it is December, so it has to be said “Merry Christmas”.
This month has been another great and busy month supporting caregivers, offering trainings and enjoying our Family Fun Days at the pools. Thank you to all those that have attended caregiver training Discussion Groups and Workshops. The numbers attending are really encouraging and it is wonderful hearing of the connections with other caregivers and support freely given to those that need some much-needed understanding from those that “get it”. Term 4 included training’s on The Importance of Play, Keeping Memories (Life story Books) and FASD. Lots of opportunities had to increase our kete of tools and tips to maximise success in our whanau / family units. And keep an eye out for training’s for Term 1 2020 😊.
Christmas time is of course a joyous, precious time for families but for those that we care for it can also be sad, lonely, and confusing with split loyalties and behaviours that our kids don’t truly understand. Take extra care during this time, enjoy your families and when possible give those who need that little extra understanding a few more minutes of you to stand with them and for them. This may be a time kids in care long to be with their birth family more than ever. There may be memories of birth family gatherings and we know this can either trigger good or not so good memories for them.
Here are some handy tips:
- Encourage access / contact to be a positive time.
- Encourage children to do something special for their birth parents / family / whanau (cards, little gift etc).
- If you’re going to family outings with your own family, make sure there is a gift for your children in care. Your relatives may not think about this.
- Allow the child placed in your care to share positive memories of past Christmas’s.
- Make your own children are aware of the potential issues that may occur for children in care over this time.
- Remember ‘behaviour is language’ and yet often this language is of ‘hidden needs’ – keep your trauma lens focused and your curiosity aroused whilst you navigate your way back to calm with sacksful of acceptance and empathy.
- Include children in all activities, make this a positive time for strengthening relationships, connections, attachments and giving them positive experiences.
- Plan fun, fun and more fun. Getting into nature is a grounding, free and soul-filling activity.
- Plan rest, rest and more rest …. Chilled quiet times are so important for both the children and you.
- Realise the behaviour outbursts are not personal, but a reflection of what may be going on for them.
Family Fun Days
Don’t forget to RSVP for our last Family Fun Day event of the year! Take advantage of the good weather and the opportunity to connect with others.
- Saturday 14th December at the Lagoon Pool & Leisure Centre, 29 Lagoon Drive, Panmure from 10.00am – 12.00pm
Keep an eye out for the support groups in your area and be sure to let me know if you would like to set one up. I am very happy to support, give ideas or attend if you’d like.
West Auckland Assoc Support Group – Email Yasser for dates and venue on email@example.com
FASD Support Group – We will be taking a break over the holidays so the next meeting will be Tuesday 11 February 2020 – Lounge at the Church, 2 Heaphy St, Blockhouse Bay from 7pm – 8.45pm (The church is called ‘Church of the Saviour).
Kaipara Carers Support Group – Kim and Paula are setting up a support group in this area. If you are interested, please let me know and I’ll put you in touch with them.
Have you joined our closed Facebook Group?
As a member of Fostering Kids NZ you have exclusive access to our CLOSED Facebook groups. These are only open to caregivers that are members of Fostering Kids NZ. This allows our members a platform to seek support, information and resources. If you are not already a member search Fostering Kids NZ Auckland Support and request to join. It’s easy and it’s free!
Click the link below to join!
Its heading into the crazy season of over-commitments and high expectation of ourselves and others. Remember to tread gently where and when you can and look after yourself! Take that extra deep breath, take a longer look at that view, and hold that hand of those you love for slightly longer.
I will be on leave over Christmas from 19 December 2019 until 20 January 2020. National Office will be closed from 24 December 2019 until 6 January 2020.
For more information on what to do if you are in need of support during this time, click here.
Meri Kirihimete / Merry Christmas, thank you for all you do for our tamariki in care.
Noho ora mai koe i roto i ngā manaakitanga katoa / May you remain well in every way
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