Some time ago I ended up on the phone with another very experienced foster mom. She mentioned that she doesn't take kids over the summer - she is a single mom with two adopted daughters (from fostercare) and she takes the summers to devote time to her daughters, who sometimes feel a little ignored with other little ones coming in and out. When I find her phone number, I am going to ask the logistics of this..
We have always been of the mind that we take all our kids whereever we go (on family adventures, that is), rather than get respite care. We have a sibling pair now, and we've taken them with us on our summer camping trips. Here's the thing; turns out, they don't travel well. Camping trips have ranged from tolerable to disasters. There are just some real psychological issues that make new experiences and changes in routine out of the question. We've canceled a couple trips later in the summer, staying home and plan adventures from here.
However, we are planning on taking the family (DH, myself and DS) on a road trip next summer, like for a week or two. I know DCFS would let us take kids, but I can't count on having kids that can handle this sort of trip (for instance, these two would not). If it turns out we have kids with us who could handle the trip, I'd be willing to recant, but I don't want to be in a situation where we've planned this trip and we have kids who can't handle it that don't go on to another better placement (family, permanency, etc.) I'm not sure how to go about that...
Does anyone else out there take scheduled breaks from fostering? If so, how do you arrange that? Do you just tell social workers when they place kids that you are out for that time?