We've always included our foster children in our family vacations. We've always had mixed results too. I think it's best when we can learn from each other, especially those who have parented through different situations or events. So, for those who have combined foster children and family vacations and lived to tell the tale - please tell!
If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently. How did you successfully include a foster child on your family vacations?Share Your Parenting Tips
We are all one big happy family
- We believe in vacationing together as a family. All of our children have been part of our vacations. It would not be fair to leave them out unless there is some reason not too. We have yet to encounter any situation where were not able to take the children everywhere we go. Imagine the emotional pain they would go through knowing they were not able to be part of the fun and exciting events. It is amazing the see the look on their faces as they explored things for the very first time. (It is like watching a baby walk for the first time). We take tons of pictures and create a DVD movie for all children to take with them when they return home.
the other side of the coin
- I will go ahead and be the odd one out here. I have brought kids on trips and I have also used respite. Your Bio kids have to come first and sometimes they need time with their parents. The occasional weekend away can do wonders for them. It is also good for couples to have more than a 2-3 hour date sometimes. These kids can be exhausting and it is better to send them to another foster family that they know than to disrupt placement or quit fostering altogether because of burnout.
- —Guest le
Vacation to Disney
- We Have foster Children Age 11 And 2. It Was Such A Good Experience Traveling With Them Last Year To Disney World And Sea World In Florida. They Both Really Enjoyed It. The 11 Year Old Loved The Airplane Ride And Airport Experience The Most. We Have Received Special Permission This Year And Will Be Going On A Cruise To The Caribbean This Summer. I Have Some Amazing Pictures Of Our 11 Year Old Feeding Seagulls And Experiencing A True Family Vacation. Before This Trip, The Boys Had Never Been Outside Of Their State.
- —Guest Paul
Depends on child and situation
- We have left a child in respite while on vacation and taken one with us on separate occasions. One child would have been too overwhelmed with a crowded airport and being on a plane for hours. The car trip to Florida with our 7year old foster son was great and he loved it. What was hard was listening to him excitedly tell his birth mom what fun he had and she was such a downer. I still would make the same choices though.
- —Guest Julie
Vacation Time with Foster Children
- The very first vacation we took, our FAS/Autistic child was 6 and not yet toilet trained. He was able to go to the toilet himself, but he chose to pee on the bathroom floor, poop in his clothes hamper and wipe feces on the bathroom wall, he chose to keep doing these actions. He was warned five months before we were to leave that if he didn't stop, he wouldn't go. Health reasons were ruled out and the psychologist ruled out any underlying reasons saying he was testing boundaries. He pulled these right up to the week before we were to leave for NYC and we held true (helped by psychologist) and he ended up not going. Two years later, we made sure he got to go on the trip he missed once he stopped his behaviors. We were very proud of him for working through them, and this was our way of making up for the lost trip without giving ground on the issues.
Treat a Foster Child as if They're Yours
- I can't even imagine planning a vacation and leaving a foster child out of it. When we agreed to foster - we treated each and every child as if they were our own. Would you leave your foster child home when you went out for a family dinner? Then they should not be singled out and left at home when you go on a family vacation. They already have enough on their plate - don't add to the stress and abandonment issues. Put yourself in their shoes and imagine how you would feel. If your doors are open to foster - then it's a 24/7/365 day commitment. Respite is for the occasional nite out when you need a 2/3 hour break.
- —Guest FOSTERING / VACATIONS
They Are Part of the Family.
- We have had our foster son for almost two years. He and my son are like brothers (ages 6 and 7). We have taken multiple trips together, and have never had a problem. I could never imagine placing him in respite, while we go away. I am also a family and trauma therapist. I have several clients between the ages of 6 and 13, and I can say that these children who were placed in respite described feelings of abandonment when their foster families left them while going away on vacation. We must remember that many of these children struggle with feelings of rejection. Though there are some things to consider, such as how long a child has been with you or possible behavior challenges, overall we are still their family.
- —Guest jen
Vacationing with foster kids
- We have one foster child in our family of five. We have taken her on many family vacations this past year. One of them was a disaster but it immediately followed a visit with bio-mom so I think she was just too emotional. The others all went well. We would never even think of leaving this member of our family out of a family activity. That seems downright rude.
- —Guest Jen
Decision Based on Each Foster Child
- We took 2 foster children and 1 was very successful and the other turned it into a total nightmare. When we returned home we made the decision to not take the only child again and it is too bad but he is old enough to behave better and he choose not too. I have not had much experience but this was enough I wont try it again.
- —Guest Lisa
Great Time with Foster Children
- We fostered for 34 yrs and took our little ones each summer on vacation with us . We had a couple with asthma and one with motion sickness but we all had a great time each year.
- —Guest abbiek
nononono!u r gonne regret it
- what if the kids are going back home its a done deal you are attached and there at home with there real mother and father and also they are going to make sure you never see the kids again from taking them away
- —Guest tara
- We have fostered since 1989. We have always included our foster children on vacations. Once, we had a young man that had been kicked out of school for talking about school shooting spree. At a restaurant a man came up to our table and stated that is was great to see such well behaved children.(6 children)
- —Guest Ralph Sharpe
Providing Respite for Foster Family
- When we provided foster care, we were on the other side of the vacationing foster family. We provided respite for two boys (brothers) while the foster family vacationed for 2 weeks. I must say the oldest boy, age 8, was the most affected by the separation. The boys had been with the foster family for a while and looked to the family as their own. The oldest boy felt left out and missed his foster parents. The boys had some issues but I think they would've benefitted emotionally if they were allowed to be with the foster family on their vacation. We tried very hard to fill the gap by taking the boys to our community lake daily and the minor league baseball game. Later on, when the foster family returned, the foster mother told me I did too much. That my compensation wasn't necessary. I felt it was and I was very happy to do it. Foster children are the neediest children. Their feelings, our actions as significant people in their lives must be carefully considered.
Vacation time with foster children
- Most every child I ever had in care came on our vacations. Yes,if one has behavior problems you have to think ahead and know how a child will cope with stress of travel and new people. But we were very blessed with the almost 100 children we have had over a 15 year career in the field. But not everyone can do what my husband and I could do...taking in families came more natural to us. Our expectations were realistic to the child's abilities and medical issues, if any. Not to say every trip was perfect but when are any family trips perfect. We'd be just fooling ourselves if we said that. Success in foster care is largely because we worked with a professional team. Not all agencies are as good and that will determine your success in the foster care system. Good luck to you all. Keep educating yourself in the field. We did and loved it.
- —Guest email@example.com