Foster kids can greatly benefit from traveling, and it could open them up to the world while helping both of you build bonds. This is why you should make it a priority to take some or all of your foster children on trips so they can expand their horizons.
You do have to know, however, that there might be obstacles you’ll have to face and that you can’t take all children on holidays. But if they seem keen on the idea, there are some things you can do to make your trips go as smoothly as possible. Let’s take a look at a few tips for foster parents who love to travel.
Choose the Right Agency
Some agencies will be more travel friendly than others, and some will even offer allowances for trips. They understand how important traveling can be to a child who is coming from a difficult background and how transformative it can be. Some agencies, like Fostering People, for instance, will also offer specialized training on how to travel with foster kids. So, make sure that you pick an agency that will be supportive and encourage travel.
Get the Child Involved
It’s very important that the child in question plays a central role in planning the trip. You have to know which type of destinations would work for them and what activities would interest them. Try to find out if they have a fear of open water or planes. If they don’t like planes, then you could choose to go to a closer destination and get there either by train or by car.
The background of the child has to be taken into consideration as well. Young children who suffer from trauma, for instance, may not feel as comfortable in crowded areas with lots of sensory stimulation. For them it would often be better to go to calmer places with little to no tourists or somewhere in nature. If they seem open and love being around people, however, then a place with tourists could be perfect for them.
Documents have to be prepared early since many foster children don’t have passports and the process of getting a passport for a foster child can take time. You’ll also need to get authorization from the local authority social worker and perform a risk assessment. This is a document showing that you have actually looked at the possible risks of the trip and taken steps to mitigate them. This is something your fostering agency should be able to help you with.
Try Bonding Activities
You could go on some extravagant trip with your foster child, but it’s sometimes the simplest things that they will remember. Consider going on a camping trip or a fishing trip with your foster child or children. Or you could go on a sailing trip. These trips will allow you to truly connect with them and get them to break out of their shell.
These tips should be helpful if you ever intend on going for a short or prolonged trip as a foster parent. Make sure that you start with proper planning, are ready for any event, and pick a destination that will work for everyone.