Parenting teens and taking on foster care, will this work?
We travel with our foster children if we possibly can. We think it's really important however it's not always possible. SO, if we go on a family vacation they come with. If it's out of state, we get permission. This does make it difficult to plan vacations too far in advance - for example if we wanted to go to visit our parents by plane for Christmas, how many tickets should we buy? Under whose name? Needless to say we typically drive and plan within a month or so. I have been denied twice. The first time it was the parents who didn't want us to take him out of state for a weekend wedding. I told them that's ok, we'll put him in respite, another foster parents home for the weekend. They immediately changed their mind because they liked him being with us and didn't want him in a strangers home. I've used that a couple times since as in "You can approve it or we'll put them in respite" to which I get "I'm sure it won't be a problem" :)The other time I was denied we worked it out. On our way back from a 4 day in-state but far away vacation with the kids we'd found out about a death of a family member. Within a few days I was headed out of state for a funeral for a week. I didn't have a chance to provide the 14-day notice to get into court easily and the caseworker didn't want to approve since they were just out of town on vacation with us. SO, we got respite. Who, by the way, backed out AFTER I was out of town. My hubby was in town but works an odd schedule so he still needed respite and last minute was able to find friends to watch the kids while he was working. In our state as long as it isn't overnight or for more than 8 hours at a time we can essentially use our best judgement on babysitting. That was a bit chaotic though and thank God for great friends.There have been a few times where taking our kids, in general, has not been appropriate like our trip to Hawaii for our anniversary last year. We try to keep those trips down to a minimum or when we don't have fosters. For our Hawaii trip we had planned to have my mom watch our bio-kids while my sister, a fellow foster parent, watched the foster(s) as respite. That way they were still with someone familiar. If we needed to our mom could watch her bio kids too so she could have more of my fosters. BUT, we didn't have to do any of that because the kids went home the weekend before our trip. Phew - it all works out :)
Yes I travel with my foster kids. Yes I always want to! They are members of my family while they live with me and I don't like to do things separately from them.No I don't have a specific trusted respite provider. I've always been at the mercy of my licensing agency.I have only used respite when I've been forced to. It happened once when my parents were coming to stay and my licensing agency had dropped the ball with background checks.I did use respite once when travel was denied for my foster child. I was FURIOUS! First...they asked the bio parent for permission for us to travel and she said no. (Duh. Bio parents will take whatever power they can get.) Because the travel was for our special needs daughter - who really would not have known the difference otherwise - we opted to use the respite care and take our trip anyway.Even when we WANT to bring them with us and everyone is in favor of it there is still a huge waiting period where I'm at. They require the judge to sign off on the permission. It is a pain in the neck!!The Texas Foster Family Association is currently compiling a list of barriers foster families have had to deal with when it comes to traveling with their foster kids. It's a hot topic and from what I could tell on Facebook - I'm not the only parent that has had problems!!
Great questions. Some that we have thought of, as well. I will check back to see find more answers. So many aspects of life may change or at least be adjusted once we start foster care.
We have traveled twice to see family with our foster kids. The first time birth parents told us we could take them as long as we weren't flying. We weren't so it didn't matter. Second time-no problem whatsoever signing the paperwork. Once we were allowed to leave the kiddos in our home with my parents for two nights. I would have trouble leaving my kiddos with a respite provider I/they didn't know. Just because I would feel guilty doing that to them. But I haven't been backed into that corner yet either...
have traveled and will travel. It's just a matter of getting the bio's permission to take them out of state, or wherever. This has not been a problem for us as the bios would usually prefer the kids stay with us than go to a respite house where thy know no one.
Our problem has been that our foster daughter's parents would rather have her stay in a respite home than travel with us. Our little girl came to us right from the hospital and is now 18 months old. I can't bring myself to leave her with strangers for 10 days. I don't know what to do.