For children who have already suffered traumatic separations, short breaks and holidays need careful thought, planning and review.
Children need to maintain a secure attachment to their main foster carer. Any relief care placements or holidays should support this attachment and be a positive experience for the child, so that the main placement is supported rather than disrupted. This often works best if the relief carer can become part of the child's or the carers' normal network.
Foster carers who would like to discuss a relief care plan or holidays for their foster child should contact the child's social worker and their supervising social worker to discuss this. This plan needs to be formally agreed.
If the foster carer does not have an available relief care resource within their own or the child's network the carer will need to allow sufficient time for the social worker to request a suitable relief placement from the Placement Duty Team.
If it is agreed that relief care is appropriate, no allowance will be deducted for one weekend a month (i.e. 2 nights/3 days relief care per month).
If any additional relief care is agreed, the fostering allowance for that period will be deducted.