Preparing for Your First Summer as a Foster Carer

Any carer of school-age children knows how hectic the summer school holiday can be. While we all dream of lazy days in the sun, fun trips to the beach and enjoying picnics in the garden, the reality can be a little different. Summer is rarely all bright and sunny. In fact, it can seem to rain for most of the holidays some years. Regular activities can be expensive, and children who are used to the routine of school can quickly start to get bored. If this is your first year as a foster carer, you might be looking forward to an extended period with the new addition to your family, but it’s still a good idea to prepare. Here are some tips to help you and your foster children have a fantastic summer together.

Get the Right Support

When you foster with an agency like there’s lots of support and advice available. If you are worried about any health concerns, whether or not you can take foster children on holiday, or need advice about fostering allowances, make sure you know who to ask and where to get the information that you need.

Brush Up on Your First Aid

All carers should at least have a basic knowledge of first aid, and how to deal with minor injuries or ailments. In summer, kids get outdoors a lot more, which is great, but it does mean that things like falls, slips, insect bites and other accidents are more common. Speak to your foster agency or look at local first aid classes to make sure you know what to do.

Get Involved in the Community

Summer can be long, and keeping children entertained can become difficult. Having friends with children is a great way to make life easier. You can arrange playdates and trips to the park without having to worry about big, expensive days out all of the time. Getting involved in the local community of foster carers and also with the community of parents at your foster child’s school is a great way to make some important and useful connections.

Budget Carefully

Summer is long, and while the occasional day out might not put too much of a dent in your wallet, things can quickly add up. Make sure you budget carefully for things like holidays, days out, summer clothes and supplies and unexpected expenses.

Book a Break

If you can, booking a break can help to break the holiday up and ease any boredom. Even just a weekend relatively close to home gives you a chance to explore, see some new sights and make some great memories.

Make Some Plans Close to Home

Not all of your plans need to be so big. A picnic in the park, trips to the library, and walks in your local area can also be great fun and a way to get your foster children out of the house.

Stock Up on Supplies

Make sure you’ve got plenty of things like sunscreen, insect repellent and hay fever treatment for a comfortable and safe summer, and that you pack these things if you do go away.

Summer is a great chance to show the children in your care some local attractions and to build some memories to take with them in the future.

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