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The benefits of taking foster children with you on holiday

Thursday 11 January 2024

Holidays are an important part of a foster child’s childhood. A holiday can give them a valuable life experience like exposing them to culture, history and education – it helps them become more well-rounded individuals.

Taking your foster child on holiday can also be beneficial for you, the carer, too. Accompanying you as you make valuable memories and cherished experiences, it makes the transition from home to holiday worthwhile. In fact, there are several benefits to everyone involved by taking your foster children with you on holiday.

The many benefits of a holiday for your foster child

Taking time away from your home, whether that be abroad or even staying elsewhere right here in the UK, can be a worthwhile experience for them no matter where you go.

Can help support rehabilitation for mental health problems

It’s no secret that foster children are more likely to suffer from and experience mental health problems like depression and anxiety disorders. While not a cure for such mental health problems, trips away from home can help your foster child reach rehabilitation goals that include overcoming these issues.

Foster children are more likely to interact with new people

A holiday helps foster children meet people outside of their usual social circle, which includes their foster parents and peers. The benefits of social interaction with new people are numerous:

  • They are better able to manage depression, anxiety and stress
  • It builds a shared positive experience and the opportunity for a continued connection, which helps to build trust – a factor that is directly linked to subjective well-being
  • It helps them to experience new perspectives
  • It contributes to improving social skills and social intelligence

They get to experience other cultures firsthand

It’s one thing learning about other cultures in the classroom, at home or even in books, but it’s an entirely new experience letting foster children experience cultures on their own.

A holiday abroad exposes foster children to this prospect, helping them to appreciate what they may already have as well as helping them develop a better understanding of the world outside the home.

Better physical health

A holiday can improve a foster child’s physical health. Not only can a holiday contribute to a decrease in stress levels, a significant factor of increased risks of heart disease and high blood pressure, but it can also improve a foster child’s overall health by encouraging them to go exploring.

Encouraging the child to get involved in holiday activities such as swimming, volleyball, children’s clubs, beach football etc, is also a great way to ensure they’re getting daily exercise in fun, new ways – maybe even encouraging them to find a new hobby they can continue once they go back home.

Increased productivity

A well-needed break from the every day can mean your foster child will feel refreshed when they go back to school or college. Not to mention, children who are given the opportunity to take time out to relax are less likely to experience burnout, which can inhibit creativity and make them less productive in general.

A chance for you and your foster child to bond

From increasing trust, to creating memories together that you can both reminisce about later, taking a holiday with your foster child is good for your relationship overall.

Travelling away together, creates shared moments that ultimately bring you and your foster child together. Whether that be exploring new places, tasting new food or taking part in new activities, the importance of these experiences don’t just unfold in the moment, they last a lifetime too. Especially for those children who have never had the chance to experience a holiday before with their birth or previous foster families.

How can you take a foster child on holiday abroad?

We have a full page on all the things you should know about taking your foster child on holiday. However, whether you’re at the holiday planning stage, or are just curious, here’s the general gist of what you need to know:

  • Holiday permission: rules and regulations – Have a read of the Government’s Fostering Services: National Minimum Standards. It states that when the child’s individual circumstances are taken into account, their welfare and safety considered paramount, then your foster children are likely able to go on holiday
  • Staying in the UK or going abroad – Foster children can still get plenty of the benefits from a holiday by staying in the UK. With that said, so long as you have the necessary paperwork and permissions, going abroad is still a viable option
  • Accommodation – Make sure you speak to your Supervising Social Worker before you book. They will be able to advise you on how best to choose a place to stay that is appropriate for everyone
  • Keeping safe – With some careful planning and consideration of suitable activities, you can keep your foster child safe while also ensuring they are having a fun experience
  • Holiday alternatives – You can still ensure your foster child has lots of fun by planning day trips instead of a holiday. You may also want to take a break yourself and try respite foster care to allow yourself to recharge your batteries

Do foster parents get paid holidays?

Many fostering agencies increase the foster care allowance over the school holidays. However, check with your agency or local authority before you go as you may be entitled to additional payment too.

Can you make a difference?

Around the country, dozens of children enter the care system every day – children who can’t live at home through no fault of their own. We work with local authorities in every region of the UK to meet the growing demand for all types of fostering. Can you become a foster carer and make a difference to a child’s future?

We offer a generous fostering allowance, with exclusive perks and benefits, free training (including specialisms) and exceptional support from your local team of fostering professionals.

If you’re unsure whether you’re eligible, try our Can I Foster? tool, which answers common questions about suitability to foster, based on a personalised Q and A style format. The outcome might surprise you! If you’re ready to chat with one of our fostering advisors, contact your local team.

Find out if you could be a foster carer
Find out if you could be a foster carer
In a few simple questions, you’ll know if you’re suitable to apply to become a foster carer.