Taking A Holiday As A Foster Parent

Long Term Fostering: A Guide To Holidaying Abroad With Your Foster Child

For many families across the UK, a school holiday means one thing – a trip away, preferably abroad! And long term fostering means no exception to this. However, it might look a little different. 

For long-term foster families, holidays can look a bit different. If you’re just starting with long-term fostering, you might be wondering if going on holiday with your foster children is possible.

Can You Take a Foster Child on Holiday?

The absolute answer, no matter what type of fostering you are doing, is yes. In fact, long term fostering means you will be able to experience this joy time and time again. 

Long term foster care aims to place a child in a home for an extended period of time, allowing them to flourish throughout their childhood in the way any other child would. Long term fostering aims to offer a secure and permanent home for a child. This includes the ability to travel the world with their foster family, experiencing different cultures, cuisines, languages etc. 

Permissions For Holidaying Abroad When Long Term Fostering 

Having established that it’s possible to holiday abroad when long term fostering, it is worth noting that there are a couple of stipulations to adhere to. Foster parents may need to be given permission by third parties such as a local authority or possibly a child’s birth parents. This will also extend to permission from the long term foster parent’s own social worker or link worker. As a general rule, professionals are eager to allow children to go on holiday with their foster families, however, approval will hinge on factors such as a child’s level of comfort with you, and your ability to meet their specific needs according to their care plan.

Considerations for Long Term Fostering & Holidays

Holidays, whether in the UK or abroad, are meant to be a joyful time for all, and children in long-term foster care are no different. We advocate for our foster families to take their foster children on holidays, allowing them to experience new environments and create cherished memories together. That said, arranging a holiday with a long-term foster child may require additional considerations, potentially necessitating a bit more planning on your end.

Are You Allowed To Take a Long Term Foster Child on Holiday During Term Time?

Holiday timings for children in long term foster care in conjunction with full time education are the same as all other children. The government has recently become very strict on absences during term time, only allowing them for exceptional circumstances. 

We recommend reading the official UK government website to get all the detailed information about school attendance and absence policies.

Do Children in Long Term Foster Care Need Their Own Room?

The age old question of sleeping arrangements. Children in long term foster care need a secure and comfortable place to rest during holidays, much like any child. While a separate room isn’t always necessary it can become a requirement depending on a child’s age and needs,, this is because ensuring a suitable sleeping arrangement is crucial,your link worker will be able to provide specific guidance on this topic.

The goal is to offer a space—be it a dedicated room or a shared area—that allows for privacy and personal space, helping foster children feel secure, valued, and included in the holiday activities. Considering the unique needs of each child, a thorough discussion with a link worker is key to finding adaptable solutions that prioritise the well-being of your foster child.

Therapy & Counselling Appointments

When planning a holiday with your foster child, it’s important to consider their ongoing commitments, such as therapy sessions or meetings with their birth family. For instance, regular therapy appointments could be interrupted by a holiday. To navigate these considerations, it’s advisable to consult with your supervising social worker to determine if the timing of the holiday is appropriate and how to best accommodate your foster child’s needs during this period.

5 Tips for Taking a Long Term Foster Child on Holiday

Great news! You’ve got the go ahead from your fostering agency and other professionals.Before travelling, particularly to destinations outside the UK, ensure you’ve gathered all necessary documents for your foster child. Many foster children may not possess a passport, so it’s crucial to coordinate with their social worker to obtain one in advance of your trip. Additionally, securing a letter of consent from the child’s social worker is essential for passport control purposes.

  1. Choose a Child Friendly Destination

When planning a holiday with a long-term foster child, it’s important to select destinations that cater to young interests. Opt for locations that are rich in attractions for children, such as theme parks, adventure parks, or beaches known for being family-friendly. This ensures that a child in your care will have engaging and memorable experiences that could become cherished memories for years to come.

  1. Book Spacious Accommodation 

As a child in long term foster care, they will be used to autonomy over their own space and home life. Similarly, booking accommodation with enough space for them to enjoy down time will provide them with somewhere they can take themselves off to if things get a little overwhelming. 

  1. Consider Where The Ideal Holiday Is 

In long-term foster care, choosing the ideal holiday destination involves considering environments that are both enjoyable and suitable for a child in your care,the foster child, ensuring the place offers activities and experiences that cater to their age, interests, and any specific needs they may have.

  1. Allow For Rest as well as Activity 

When holidaying with your foster child, it’s vital not to pack every day with outings. Including a day or two for relaxation is essential to avoid overstimulation and the possibility of the child becoming overwhelmed, which could result in anxiety or tantrums. Days of rest allow them to recuperate from the excitement and enjoy the holiday more fully.

  1. Keep Your Long Term Foster Child Involved 

If you’re holidaying with your foster child alongside other family members, it’s important to actively include them in the group. Should they appear reticent, encourage their participation by suggesting they take photographs. Additionally, involving them in the planning process by asking if there’s anything specific they’d like to do during the trip, such as enjoying an ice cream, visiting a particular attraction, or swimming in the sea, can also help them feel valued and included.

Long term fostering allows for fun, fulfilling and easy holidays for all. As long as you get the relevant permissions, you and your foster child can make incredible memories on the trip of a lifetime.
If you wish to speak to us in more detail about long term fostering, other types of fostering, or any additional fostering topics, please reach out to a member of our brilliant team today.

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