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North Yorkshire carer opens up about challenges of fostering at Christmas time

A North Yorkshire foster carer has opened up about fostering at Christmas time and the struggles foster children have faced during lockdown.

A North Yorkshire foster carer has opened up about fostering at Christmas time and the struggles foster children have faced during lockdown. Sue began fostering in May 2020, having given up work the year before to become a foster carer. After completing the training and the full checks, she and her husband became carers of two young sisters who came from a larger family. Sue told Nick Hancock on the Your Harrogate Podcast:

"I've worked in schools and with children all my life, and it was something that I felt I had the skills to do, but also the time and love to give. "I had quite a few friends who had been fostering for a long time and I'd seen their journey, but it wasn't something we were able to do until our grown up daughters left home permanently."
The two young girls that Sue began caring for had a number of siblings, but she and her husband ensured they stayed connected - despite the pandemic - via Zoom. But it was at Christmas time that the girls experienced the biggest challenges, something Sue was aware of. She said:
"Obviously when you introduce new children into the family, their Christmas experiences and traditions are going to be very different. "You have to remember that they may have had some wonderful Christmases but some unhappy Christmases as well. "They are going to have some worries and some anxieties because it's going to be a whole new scene for them and very different to anything they've encountered before."
But Sue said that communication was key and preparing the two girls for new and different experiences ahead of time. She added:
"It's all about preparing them, nurturing them through the process and if they wanted to talk because they felt sad or missed their relatives, being there to listen to them. "We did have to change some of the things that we usually did on Christmas and the older girl did struggle later on in the day as she hadn't been physically able to see her siblings. "It was just being there for her, trying to distract her, playing games with her and trying to help her move on."
Want to hear the full chat with Sue? Listen to a very special edition of the Your Harrogate Podcast here. Fostering North Yorkshire Sue signed up to be a foster carer via Fostering North Yorkshire who look after more than 300 children and young people at any one time in fostering placements across the county. They range from babies to teenagers, come from many backgrounds, and have various needs, but they have one thing in common - they are all in need of a caring family to help them feel safe, secure and happy. Fostering North Yorkshire released the following video about how foster carers can change a life this Christmas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPxFVp3wtZc You can find out more about the children and young people that Fostering North Yorkshire need foster placements for, and about their financial packages, excellent training and locally based support by calling them on 01609 534654 or simply complete an expression of interest formRead more local stories from Your Harrogate here.

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