The holidays can be a hard time for many of us, and especially for children and youth with limited supports or families to spend time with during the holidays. To better understand what it might be like to be a young person in care during the holidays, below is an interview with a youth in foster care.
Experience from a Young Adult
Jon is 18 years old and is currently in transitional housing. He has been in foster care since he was 15 years old. Here is what he had to say about the holidays:
What do holidays mean for you?
“I think the holidays are about putting your worries behind and focusing on friends and family. It’s a time when you can have fun and cheer up.”
Who will you spend the holidays with?
“I plan on spending my holidays with my siblings and friends.”
Are the holidays a difficult time for youth in care?
“Definitely. Because of the separation of their parents and in most cases siblings too. The hardest part is when they are put into care during or before winter-time holidays. A lot of youth miss their families, not being able to see them for multiple reasons. Could be for a number of reasons: Not safe for them, for behavior stuff, etc. In my experience, I did not have a healthy relationship with my parents and I didn’t want contact with them because of ongoing abuse. I think any child wishes to have parents that are good to them.”
At the residential facilities in which you reside, is there anything going on to celebrate?
“The facilities I’ve been at did a good job with the celebration of holidays. It felt different than other times of the year, when they normally pound your head with rules. During the holidays though, they would be a little more relaxed. On the downside, you have to earn home visits which means putting up with inappropriate rules… They weren’t harmful rules in any way, just a bit harsh.”