Back to listing

Can you take a foster child on holiday?

In our latest blog, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions we're asked about taking a foster child on holiday.

April 10 2024 - 5 min read

Whether escaping to a seaside town in the UK or embarking on an overseas adventure, holidays have become a much-loved and highly anticipated part of childhood.

As well as enjoying new experiences, they offer families a chance to spend quality time together and create memories that last a lifetime. This is precisely why we actively encourage taking a foster child on holiday.

Many children who come into our care have often never experienced a family holiday before, so taking them away can be a significant milestone. It can also be massively rewarding as you watch a young person in your care experience things for the first time and the total joy comes with it.

So, if you’ve been thinking about fostering and wondering whether you can take a foster child on holiday, or you already foster and want to book a holiday, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog, we explore everything you need to know about taking a foster child on holiday.

Can you take a foster child on holiday abroad?

Yes, you can absolutely take a foster child on holiday abroad. You just need to make sure that it’s right for the young person in your care, and that you have permission from the local authority to do so, as well as all the necessary documentation, like a valid passport and approval letter.

So how do you know whether to take a child in your care abroad or a holiday in the UK? Let’s dive in...

One of the initial decisions you'll encounter is whether to embark on an overseas adventure or opt for a staycation within the UK with the child in your care.

The answer to this question hinges entirely on what's going to suit the individual needs of the child in your care. For instance, if you've recently welcomed them into your home and they're still getting used to their new surroundings, we recommend planning a getaway within the UK.

Remaining close to home offers a sense of comfort and security for your child, while also providing you with the flexibility and support you may need should things not go quite to plan. However, once your child has settled and with the necessary permissions in place, taking them abroad can unlock a world of extraordinary experiences, exposing them to diverse cultures, languages, cuisines, and much more.

Can You Take A Foster Child On Holiday (1)

What permissions do I need to take a foster child on holiday?

Whether you’re planning a trip that’s home or abroad, you need to get permission from your child’s social worker first.

However, this is relatively simple to obtain and like us, local authorities actively encourage taking children in care on holiday wherever possible because of all the benefits holidays can bring.

What documentation will I need to take a foster child on holiday abroad?

If you’re planning to take a foster child abroad, you’ll need to obtain the following documents before you jet off…

Valid Passport

Before booking a holiday abroad with a child in care, you first need to ensure that your young person has a valid passport.

If your young person doesn’t have a valid passport, you’ll need to work with your child’s social worker to obtain one. This can take a little bit of time to arrange, so we recommend holding off booking anything until your child’s passport has arrived.

Letter from the Local Authority

To avoid any issues when leaving or returning to the UK, you should also obtain a letter from the local authority to confirm that you are the child’s foster parent and that you have permission to travel abroad with them.

This may not always be needed but it’s best to avoid any potential issues with travel authorities.

Sleeping arrangements when planning a holiday with a foster child

When planning a holiday, sleeping arrangements for the young person in your care will need to be carefully considered and discussed with the child’s social worker.

Some children may still be required to have their own bedroom when on holiday. Others may be allowed to share, either with yourself or another child who’s going away with you.

Your child’s social worker will look at your child’s individual needs as well as the risk assessment to find a suitable solution.

Foster care holiday allowance

Foster parents receive a generous allowance for each child in their care. This often includes an allowance to cover the cost of a holiday and summer activities.

5 top tips for taking your foster child on holiday

If you’re considering taking a child in your care on holiday, here are five ways to ensure it's an incredible experience.

  1. Plan your holiday as a family

    Involve your foster child in planning the holiday by giving them choices in destinations or activities. This helps them feel important and valued while building excitement for the trip.

  2. Prepare your child in advance

    As the holiday approaches, discuss what to expect with your foster child. Show them pictures of where you'll stay, talk about travel arrangements, and address any worries they may have, helping to ease their concerns.

  3. Be flexible while away

    Recognise that this may be a new experience for your foster child, so remain flexible and adaptable to their needs during the holiday.

  4. Consider a minibreak in the UK

    If an overseas holiday seems overwhelming for your foster child, opt for a getaway within the UK. You can still create wonderful memories together without the added stress of traveling abroad.

  5. Create a photo album

    Capture memories by taking lots of photos during your holiday and create a photo album for your foster child when you return home. This keepsake will provide them with cherished memories to look back on as they grow older.

By following these tips, you can make the holiday experience with your foster child enjoyable and memorable for both of you.

Going on holiday without a foster child

While we always encourage foster families to take the young people in their care away on holiday, we understand people may also want to go away without the kids to spend some quality time together or with friends.

As a foster parent with Orange Grove, you’ll receive 2 weeks of respite each year, which can be used for holidays. During this time, the young person in your care will stay with their dedicated respite foster parent while you’re away. This is planned in advance to make sure that your young person feels settled and secure while you’re away.

Ready to start your fostering journey?

By phone

One of our team is available to talk to you over the phone to answer any of your fostering queries.

0800 369 8513

Live chat

Have a live chat online with one of our dedicated fostering professionals

Chat Now