Short-term foster care is a broad scope. While some placements may last a week, short-term care can also last for over two years. For any foster carers considering the potential of a vacation during their time with a child or set of children, it is more manageable than it may first appear. With support and research, a solid plan can be established, and a fun adventure can be had by the whole family. This guide has some tips for foster carers thinking about going on vacation.
Talk to Your Social Worker First
Your agency, for instance thefca.co.uk, will always want to be involved with every aspect of the foster child’s life. This includes things like where you are going on holiday and what the permissions are around this. With short term care, it might be a little more complicated but there are circumstances that allow vacations if you talk to your social worker.
Facilitate the Risk Assessment
Part of talking to your social worker will be to facilitate an in-depth risk assessment. This will only be able to commence after you have made preliminary decisions about where you want to stay and so on. As much information as you can give at this stage will make everything run more smoothly.
Include Your Foster Children in the Planning Process
While you will always have to make the executive decisions, there is a lot of benefit in including the foster children/child in the actual planning process. This will give them a sense of autonomy around the vacation and empower them to feel more in control as well. Plus, there is always the additional bonus of knowing you’ll all be doing something that will appeal to every person on board.
Look for Child Friendly Locations
Always take them somewhere where there will be plenty to stay busy with. A rural property with nothing for miles may sound appealing on paper, but the reality will be quite different. Wherever you end up, try to research how child-friendly it is before making any financial commitment. This means there should be lots of activities close-by to minimise travel time and ensure there will never be a dull moment just in case.
Plan Everything from Start to Finish
Finally, do not leave a moment unplanned. Having a daily routine and agenda will be extremely useful when it comes to expectations and behaviour management. Your foster children will naturally have increased anxiety levels because of the change in environment, regardless of how secure their attachment is with you. A great way to curb anxiety is through clear agendas and maintaining some semblance of a schedule. This can be shared with your children in advance of the trip, and they can even hang on to their own copy to look back on when they might be feeling a little wobbly.
So, whether this is your first foster job, or you have been in the role for a number of years, these vacation tips will be useful for your family. Going on holiday with children has to be well-organised, thoroughly planned, and filled with entertainment. Foster children are no exception here, and foster carers should always take precaution to move through the official channels for the safety of everyone involved.