OPENING PATHWAYS FOR DEVELOPMENT
At SOS Children’s Village BC, we know that children in care may have difficulty developing peer relationships at school and in the community. A significant number of the children at SOS BC are affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, coupled with atypical symptoms related to emotional trauma.
Affected FASD children may have difficulties with motor skills involving the co-ordination of large muscle movements used for running or climbing. They may have difficulties with social skills (person-to-person communication, waiting for turns, understanding rules and playing fairly, disruptive emotions and immature behaviours) which can lead to rejection by peers and to feelings of isolation, loneliness, depression, and aggression.
“I feel so sorry for her. She’ll ask other kids if she can play, and usually they just say, ‘No, you’re not our friend.’ She’s trying to be nice. What more can she do? “
– Foster parent, speaking of child in care
Providing camp, recreational and cultural opportunities for children and youth living in the SOS Children’s Village helps to build their social skills, promote a sense of belonging, and allow them to expand their life experience.
- Celebrate diversity and promote supportive relationships
- Provide access to sports and active recreation programming
- Provide meaningful opportunities for children in foster care to understand and grow with their cultural heritage and community
SPORTS, CAMPS AND MUSICAL ACTIVITIES
Participating in sports activities can provide an outlet for hyperactivity and anxiety, build social skills, and help children heal from trauma. It can also contribute to the reduction of antisocial behaviour and substance abuse. Sports-related activities build self-esteem and can be a lifelong leisure activity.
In recent years SOS BC has supported foster children to attend a variety of summer camps, has worked with seven different recreational programs including hockey and football, has assisted children in care to participate in school-based trips such as band concert tours, missions, and skiing, and has assisted in several cases where in-home music lessons have allowed the child to experience musical education when school based programs were not appropriate.
In 2013, to meet the needs of families in the Village and those living in the community, SOS BC launched a Spring Break camp for children. The day camp was scheduled 3 days a week for 2 weeks in March, supervised by the Program Coordinator and practicum students. A combination of Village and community-based activities were offered.
SOS Children’s Village BC has had visits from First Nations elders, hosted drumming programs, and joined in with traditional jingle dancers. SOS is especially pleased to be renewing and enhancing our participation with Indigenous members of the community. A teepee raising for National Aboriginal Day and two Aboriginal camp programs will be offered on the SOS Village site this year with more joint programs and activities planned.
WHO THIS PROGRAM IS FOR
- Children living in the SOS Village and children living in foster homes in the Fraser Region
- 6 to 18 years old children in care