Monday, April 11, 2011

Vacations.

In my post about us going on an out of state vacation and NOT taking any of our foster kids with us for a variety of reasons, I was very interested to read in the comment what other people have gone through when it come to trying to take their foster child on an out of state vacation.

I thought I would share with you what I go through in order to just take our foster kids 4 hours away from our home on a vacation even though we never left the state.

According to our agency if we are going away, even for the weekend, I had to fill out a sheet the agency provided listing the address of where we were staying and had to sign my name on the paper. THEN they turned around AND HANDED THE BIO PARENT THE PAPER WITH ALL THIS INFORMATION ON IT for them to sign to approved us going away for the weekend.

You can see why the thought of actually taking the kids out of state sounds like it could be VERY complicated to me if I had to do all of that just to drive 4 hours from my house with them.

So, I was wondering, what do YOU have to do in order to go away for the weekend and/or go out of state???

18 comments:

Pipsylou said...

We call respite care. I don't want to bother needing to ask the bio parents for permission to take them out of state.

Dearest Jessica said...

That seems like the most unsafe thing! Crazy!

We do need a judges signature to leave the county, which is a hassle so we've never done it.

Me and Jesus said...

My agency requires parental or a judges permission in order to leave the state. They want all the same info you listed. They share it with bio parents. The worst part is it takes weeks and weeks to get it done. I'm a spontaneous sort of person so my caseworkers and I worked out a deal. We got a letter with parents permission covering all and any, out of state trips for us. All I do is send caseworker address, phone number and approximate travel dates.

We travel alll the time, camping, family visits etc...
In state we don't even have to notify anyone. I can decide to pack up and drive 6 hrs across the state without checking with anyone. However I have to have that letter to cover me if I drive 2 hrs to the beach!

3 more days and mine will all officially be adopted!!! Whatever shall I do without caseworkers in my life!!!

Carol said...

Mama Foster, I am thinking that you are so working for the wrong agency. (We are licensed under the state DHS in the same state as Mama Foster)We live about 10 miles from the next state's border. We can cross the state line to go shopping, or out to eat or recreation or whatever any time without any notification to DHS or anyone. No planning ahead. We can just go.

We live about 90 miles from a very large vacation destination city that is 2 states away. We can go there for the day just by calling the case worker and letting them know. Last Friday we went to the next state and took the train to the next state and spent the day and returned home that night. Only a phone call notification needed. No paperwork--we took 2 foster kids with us. That is all that is required of any out of state day trip.

For a day or overnight in state trip--no notification required.

For an overnight out of state trip--notify case worker who fills out a form giving general information. CW turns that in to the court and a judge signs it. Can be done in very short order if need be.

CherubMamma said...

We can travel within our state for up to 72 hours without having to get special permission. However, we have to make arrangements with CPS if we are going to be staying in a hotel where the foster parents or other children are sleeping in the same room as a foster child. And if we were staying with friends or family, anyone over 14 would have to have a simple background check (copy of social security card and an ID). Anyone over 18 would have to have a full FBI background check.

We have to have permission from a judge to take a foster child out of state for any reason. (However, we live a full day's drive from any state border so I guess that rule makes sense.)

jendoop said...

For us the parents have to sign a out of state travel form. That's it. Our agency requests the parents sign this form immediately upon placement. The parents can refuse, but the agency explains that this could limit the child's opportunities.

For long trips that would interfere with parent visits or therapy, it would be difficult to rearrange all of that to keep everyone happy. Thankfully it hasn't been an issue yet.

MamaSalmon said...

Wow, that does sound pretty unsafe for them to have that info, after all they dont have those children for a reason...

I havent started the process yet, so i dont know how things will be for us yet.

Endless Love ~ Amazing Grace said...

For in state travel as long as we are not going to be gone longer than 72 hrs we do not have to get permission.

For out of state travel we had to get permission from the judge. Then give the information as to where we would be spending our vacation to the social worker. However, this information is NOT shared with the parent. I would be highly upset if I were asked for this info to be shared.

We are not even required to meet the bio parents if we do not want to. Now, we choose to but i am just stating that it is our CHOICE.

I think I would have to agree with a prevous comment and question the agency you are with. I do not live in the same state but I am licensed with DFPS.

I do hope your family has the best vacation ever!!!!!!

Diane said...

We have to notify the state case manager (CM) for the child if we want to take the child out of state or out of the home overnight more than 24 hours. The CM is the guardian and has the authority to make the decision, not the bio parent. The CM usually does approve, unless the travel will interfere with a visit with a bio parent and then sometimes the parent will be asked, but encouraged to let their child enjoy a vacation. Even then, unless we are late in the game of reunification, travel for a vacation of a week or less is usually approved and the visit is made up the following week. The court is only involved if the travel is out of the country (or possibly out of state more than 30 days). The foster care licensing agency just receives notification but does not authorize. I give the CM dates, an address where we are staying, and I tell them they can reach me on my cell phone. None of this is shared with the bio parent other than the fact that the child is going on a vacation and sometimes if it is to a special destination like Disneyland, but no hotel information.

Rebecca said...

Under 72 hours within the same state, I do not have to get permission from anyone. I do have to notify my agency that I am leaving town, but I do not have to get permission from anyone.

If it is over 72 hours but still within the same state, I believe I have to get approval by CPS, but that is it (haven't done that yet).

If I am going out of state, then I have to get a court order from a judge. I have heard this is usually granted, but it does take a couple of weeks.

Denver Laura said...

In the same state - no notifications. Can even go for several days, as long as we don't miss visits (which are 2x a week).

Going out of state meant that I took the week off from work while hubby visited his dad in the hospital. We couldn't find respite on an emergency basis for 2 under 5 for a whole week. Especially ones willing to continue visits.

Alison said...

We only have to let the case worker know that we are leaving and make sure that it doesn't conflict with any appointments.

I can't believe you have to do all of that!

Kelli said...

I don't have foster kiddos, but just trying to go anywhere takes a ton of work and preparing. you all have soooo much more to deal with and bless you for dealing with caseworkers and parents and all the other stuff to show kids the love of Jesus!!

Jolene said...

I'm in Canada but we are planning to take our foster daughter on our family vacation to the US next week. Our Agency encourages us to take our foster children on family vacations. All I need is a travel letter from the Agency explaining where we are travelling and when.

CherubMamma said...

I was wrong with my information I left above. We decided - last night - that going about three hours away over Easter weekend would be fun. I knew we had to clear the motel room sleeping arrangements, but I thought everything could be handled with our CPS worker.

I called my agency this morning who said she would call CPS for me.

I have now been informed that CPS has to give our travel information (including the exact address of the hotel we're staying at) to Pumpkin's attorneys, the court, and the bio mom. And then the court has to approve the travel.

For a two night stay so we can go to an aquarium and the beach?!

What a waste of taxpayer money!!

It's no wonder foster kids get left out of vacations so frequently. (NOT saying that you should be taking yours Mama Foster!!) Something simple like our trip though shouldn't require so many damn hoops to jump through. Especially notifying the bio family of the address (for any trip!). I'm tired of being treated like I'm the one that screwed up here. I'm not the enemy. It's a damn shame that the (stupid) state I live in can't trust foster parents better. It wasn't like this at all when we were licensed in the midwest.

Felicia said...

In state, nothing as long as it doesn't interfere with visitations. we took our foster kids to the beach a week after we received them for a long weekend. Out of state you need permission, which has always been granted as soon as I say we are going out of state. Actually it is granted before I can get the entire sentence out because they don't want to have to do respite.

Anonymous said...

in state, nothing as long as it doesn't interfer with visits if it does then we have to give more then 24 hrs notice so visits can be rearanged. out of state a judge signs a form it is fast and easy and almost always granted

Anonymous said...

in state, nothing as long as it doesn't interfer with visits if it does then we have to give more then 24 hrs notice so visits can be rearanged. out of state a judge signs a form it is fast and easy and almost always granted