And not only are foster children allowed to holiday, it is actively encouraged that they do. Unsure of the logistics and regulations behind foster care holidays? Find out everything you need to from our detailed guide.
As stated in the Fostering National Minimum Standards, “children can stay overnight, holiday with friends, or friends and relatives of their foster carer, go on school trips, subject to requirements of the care/placement plan, if foster carers consider it appropriate in individual circumstances.”
This means that you are allowed to take your foster child on holiday with you, as long as the child’s individual circumstances are considered. When your placement begins with your foster child, you’ll be informed if there is any health and safety reason or otherwise as to why they cannot go on holiday, but you should know this at the beginning of your placement.
Of course, it’s important to consult your social worker of any holiday plans – and you can plan together the best means for this holiday to take place. This should be your first port of call when holiday planning. Your social worker will be able to offer support and advice on taking your foster child on holiday, including support with the relevant paperwork required.
The same rules apply for taking foster children out of school during term time as they do all other children. The government have tightened their rules on removing children during school time for holidays to mean they are only allowed under “extreme circumstances”. This could be circumstances such as visiting a seriously ill family member or attending a funeral. If children are taken on holiday during term time, the foster parents are likely to receive a fine for this, if special permission has not been granted.
One of the most well-known foster care requirements is that the child has their own bedroom. However, does this also apply to when you’re holidaying, too?
The first thing you’d need to do is discuss this with your social worker. It may be that the accommodation for the holiday you have chosen is a family apartment which requires the children to share rooms – however, the social worker will be able to advise you as to whether this is feasible with your foster child.
It may be that there is a holiday home or caravan that is holidayed in regularly, which could become problematic if abiding strictly by the ‘own bedroom’ policy. However, it comes down to the individual and their needs – so this needs to be discussed at length with a social worker in order to find a potential workaround.
Remember, before you book, ensure you have written confirmation from your social worker allowing the foster child to go on the holiday.
Holidaying with the whole family and your foster child(ren) can be extremely fulfilling and a great way to unwind from daily life. However, it’s important to remember you are allowed to take a break from your full-time job as a foster carer. Find out more about our respite foster care options in order for you to fully relax and recuperate, too. For more information about foster care holidays, get in touch with a member of our expert team.