Tips for Making the Season Brighter for Your Foster Child

The holiday season can be challenging for families under the best of circumstances. For youth in foster care, the season may be even harder because of past loss, the absence of family rituals, uncertainty about the future, and a strong yearning to belong. Here are some tips for making the most of the holiday season with your foster child. 

Engage your child in family traditions. From decorating your home for the holidays, to baking, wrapping presents, and enjoying time with extended family, involve your child in these activities, and consider building a new tradition as well.

Ask your child about his or her traditions and build them into your holiday. By doing so, you and your family will convey to this youth that their traditions are just as important. 

Anticipate signs of sadness or depression. The holidays can be a very difficult time for many people; foster children are no exception. Be understanding of the grief and loss they are feeling because they are not with their biological families for the holidays. Gauge the extent of their sadness and engage your foster care provider and/or other community resources, as needed, for support. 

Wheeler’s Foster Care programs, funded by the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, provide 24-hour support to families and youth in Greater Waterbury. Wheeler’s programs provide care and resources, including support to meet the needs of children and youth and help them heal from abuse, neglect, trauma, and more. 

For information, call 860.793.7277, email or visit

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