For many, the summer holidays are upon us. It is a busy time for some, a juggling affair keeping children busy and managing work both inside and outside the home. There is pressure to have an idyllic time and create memories of long sunny days, picnics, water fights and laughter.

The reality is quite different for some. rather it is long days dodging the showers, battling boredom and trying to please everyone. There are lots of guides out there how to survive the holidays and some people plan every day whilst others prefer to "wing it." For all families, it is the same challenge. It is about making the best of those days out of school, and it is all about what is right for you, and the children in your care.

Fostering is often about making similar judgements every day  about making the best of situations, whether it be disappointment around christmases and birthdays or missed contacts, frustrations taken out at school or even at home.  It is often wise to have a back up plan.  A trip to the park or an ice cream on the way home only goes a tiny way to ease the disappointment but it shows that at least you care about their hurt.

That is why it is so important as a carer to be flexible, to always be learning and to be ready for anything. It is also why having a network of support and other carers in that network helps. It gives you different strategies, ways of looking at situations. So it might be a trivial comparison, but in the summer holidays if you have planned a picnic in the park and the heavens open, then have a back up plan.

Enjoy your summer holidays!