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7.5.4 Sixteen and Seventeen Year Olds in Care wishing to Holiday on their Own or with Friends

Practice Guidance

Each young person’s Pathway Plan covers different aspects of how their needs will be met including how they will move towards independent living. The Plan will form the basis for any decision about giving permission for a young person to holiday independently.

The primary duty of the Local Authority is to Safeguard and Promote the Welfare of the Child and part of this duty is to give attention to the wishes and feelings of the child.

The more mature the child the more fully he or she will be able to enter into discussions about plans and proposals and participate in decision making.

As corporate parents we have a responsibility to provide opportunities for young people to develop their independence and self care skills to the level to which the young person can cope.

In reaching a decision the child’s Social Worker needs to consider:

  • The maturity of the young person;
  • The view of the young person’s parent(s);
  • The level of planning the young person has been involved in for the holiday;
  • Whether the young person has considered how they will ensure their safety and health whilst on holiday.


  • A Service Manager must give agreement for any 16 or 17 year old to take a holiday abroad with friends or a girl/boyfriend;
  • Requests for agreement should be made in a memo to the service manager containing all relevant information including views of parent(s);
  • Agreement will not usually be granted for 16 year olds to holiday abroad with friends and or boy/girlfriend.

No additional financial assistance can be offered towards the holiday.