Last year, we heard from some of you that you would appreciate some guidelines around what to do if you are currently not looking after a child but then have a child placed with you in the immediate run up to Christmas. We hope these tips and advice will answer some of your questions and equip you with confidence for the festive period.

  • Presents. We know some foster carers are worried about not having a present, or how this will affect their Christmas day and holiday plans. Don’t worry, we have emergency presents available and first night care packs. You’ll be able to liaise with the duty worker.
  • Be prepared. Do you have a friend or family member who can nip out and get any other presents and bits for you at the last minute if you need to?
  • Prepare your family and networks. Plan ahead and think about what you would do if you got a phone call on Christmas Eve. Speak to your partner, children, friends and family so everyone knows what to expect.
  • COVID-19 rules. The government has provided guidance for the Christmas period around COVID-19. If you are unsure what this means for you, your family gatherings and contact etc, please speak to your supervising social worker.
  • Speak to the child and explain. Not everyone celebrates festivities in the same way, so just find out what the child is used to and let them know what they may expect from your celebrations.
  • Be aware of their circumstances. Christmas can mean food, alcohol, visiting church, plenty of family traditions. Be mindful of the child’s background and current situation.
  • Speak to your supervising social worker. Get the information you need and ask your social worker if you’re not sure about anything.
  • BFfC’s Christmas office hours. The offices are closed from Wednesday 23 December at 5pm, re-opening on Monday 4 January at 9am. There will be staff operating in this time and you can use the out of hours number 0118 937 3866 throughout.
  • Read more about Christmas and fostering. Check out the stories on The Fostering Network.