Can I take my foster child on holiday?
Family holidays whether home or abroad are an invaluable part of building long lasting memories and provide the ideal opportunity for family members to bond and spend some quality time together.
It’s therefore no surprise that one of the most frequently asked questions from people thinking of becoming a foster carer is ‘can I take a foster child on holiday?’
For the most part the answer is YES however there are some considerations and things to put in place before you can pack that suitcase. As a foster family there are some rules and regulations that need to be considered.
Support from your Supervising Social Worker.
Whilst there is some planning required in taking your foster child on a family holiday, including ALL your children in any family break is encouraged, and it’s absolutely doable. Any ‘family time’ arrangements during your holiday will need to be discussed and adjusted but with the support and experience of your Supervising Social Worker, you can be assured that you’ll have everything in place to enjoy that family vacation.
Home or Away?
Any holiday should be fun for the entire family so when holidaying together for the first time, you need to consider the foster child’s lived experience and circumstances. It’s time to wonder ‘would a short break away in England or a longer holiday abroad be the best option for your first holiday together.’
Whether home or abroad the key things to remember are:
By ensuring that you discuss your intentions with relevant colleagues and Local Authority professionals early on, you can make informed decisions based around the individual needs of your foster child; and get all the relevant permissions and paperwork needed in place to ensure a smooth getaway (this can include Local Authority/ birth parent agreement and for overseas holidays you will need to ensure that you have an in date child’s passport.)
Once permissions and paperwork are in place it’s time to plan ahead and consider the accommodation. There is a preference for foster children to have their own bedroom but as we know holiday properties can come in all kinds of accommodation configurations. Whether it’s a caravan holiday, hotel or apartment you’ll need to consult your Supervising Social Worker, to ensure the sleeping arrangements are acceptable, before making the booking.
TOP TIPS: Start planning early, keep your Supervising Social Worker informed and understand your responsibilities as a foster carer. As long as you do that, a holiday with your foster child should be amazing.