Children and young people are in the middle of their school holidays and some parents and carers could be looking for some inspiration and ideas on how to occupy their families over the next few weeks.

Foster carers from across Cheshire have come up with their top five tips for a summer that is a little less stressful, where youngsters can be looked after, entertained and happy.

Top of the list is organisation with many carers making plans for the school holidays, creating daily or weekly schedules of all the activities and events.

Foster carer Julie said: “Anyone with children, and particularly those who have big and busy households, will know that planning in advance is key to keeping all the plates spinning.”

Secondly, as a foster carer it’s essential to share information with your child’s social worker and your own fostering social worker, so that everyone knows what the plans are.

Lisa said: “As a foster carer, communicating with everyone is imperative, even more so when planning to take holidays.

“You’ll need to ensure any arrangements for family time – formerly known as contact with birth parents – can be maintained or rearranged to accommodate the holiday or day out.”

The third top tip is to look for holiday clubs in the local area as these can keep children busy and entertained as well as provide the perfect opportunity for them to try something new.

Next up, foster carers advise making the most of fostering resources.

Mo said: “All Foster4 carers are provided with a Max Card, which offers significant discounts at attractions, days out and even staycations at places such as Haven and Butlins.

“Each authority also offers different additional resources to support carers, including free use of a seven-seater pool car – so make the most of them!”

Finally, the last piece of advice is to let children and young people express themselves.

Lucy said: “Summer holidays are long and can be a great time for children and young people to experiment with how they want to look and express themselves.

“Whether it’s a different haircut or new outfit, take their lead and celebrate their choices - within reason, of course.

“Where relevant, ensure any major changes are discussed with social workers first.”

For more information about fostering visit or call 01925 444100.

You can also email or use @foster4cheshire on Facebook and Instagram.

Creating and capturing memories

Foster4 carers are encouraged to broaden children and young people’s experiences, not only during the school holidays but all year round.

Foster carers are provided with a holiday allowance each year that goes towards the cost of a holiday or days out, in addition to their standard weekly allowances.

Many children in care will never have experienced the simple pleasures of a family day out or holiday and the activities and trips planned by their foster carers can sometimes be their first taste of positive family life.

Some children and young people can feel overwhelmed during school holidays so foster carers are trained in managing all aspects of behaviour that may arise, due to trauma or neglect, and are well equipped to handle youngsters’ different emotions.

Foster carers say that preparation is key and involving children and young people in decisions can be useful for everyone.

Planning ahead and checking websites, looking at available activities and even deciding where the children will be sleeping for the time that they’re away, can help to minimise stress and anxiety.