The role of a foster parent is to provide suitable levels of care and enrichment for children placed in their home. Going on a family holiday is a great way to bring everyone together and create unique experiences. However, there are rules and regulations to abide by when it comes to taking foster children on holiday, which may put a pin in your plans. To avoid being caught out and accidentally facing sanctions, you need to understand everything outlined below.
Rules and Regulations
The UK government is responsible for setting the national fostering standards, which note that “children can stay overnight, holiday with friends, or friends and relatives of their foster child”. When you read this in the first instance, you’ll likely believe your holiday immediately gets the green light. However, every foster child has a placement plan, which may stipulate restrictions on travel for a variety of reasons.
Placement plans can be complicated, and the lines of allowance become even more blurred when you have multiple placements in your care. Fortunately, you can turn to your agency, like Fostering People, who will answer all your questions.
Domestic or International
Setting out on an adventure abroad will offer the opportunity for your foster child to experience other cultures and get used to travelling through the border. However, a holiday in the UK will be easier to facilitate because you’re in the same country as their case worker. Whichever option you choose, the most important part is having the necessary documentation.
When you go on holiday without foster children, you can share a room to cut down the costs. However, you’re required to provide any placement with their own room, which will likely add to the cost and can cause further complications. Before booking any accommodation, we suggest having a word with your agency for guidance.
Keeping Everyone Safe
As the leader of the pack, it’s your responsibility to keep everyone safe, which means understanding every foster child’s needs and basing activities on those. You will need to make sure that every experience is positive, which means always being ready to make last-minute changes to the plan.
Financing the Holiday
As with any holiday you take, you will need to set a strict budget before you begin searching. If you’re concerned about funding, you should know that the majority of agencies provide school holiday allowances, which can be used for holidays. Further, depending on the agency, you may be eligible for further funding for family breaks.
Unfortunately, you may have to stay home with your foster child, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great time. There are plenty of staycation ideas to consider, and you can simply use your home as a base for a number of day trips.
Family holidays will help enrich the lives of vulnerable children, which is great for development and growth. However, you need to keep within the rules and liaise with case workers every step of the way.