Respite fostering can be a weekend or week-long (or longer) break for parents and carers from caring for a foster child. The respite foster family can be part of a regular routine for the child in care.
More specifically, what is respite foster care? This specialist type of foster placement provides full-time foster carers – or birth parents – the chance for a short break, allowing them the opportunity to recharge or attend to important personal matters. Learn more about foster family respite care for children from our guide.
Respite care placements are limited in timescale and rarely last more than a couple of weeks – most commonly during the weekend or school holidays. Foster parents who provide respite care services will often work with the same children at regular intervals and these children will likely already be in full-time care with another foster carer – though sometimes respite care services are made available to birth parents too. These respite breaks provide many benefits for carer and child alike; giving them both some time away from their regular care or parental responsibilities.
Respite foster care can be required for a variety of reasons. One example is as support to a full-time foster carer who may need a holiday or may need to travel overseas for important family commitments. In other instances, carers may be struggling with their current foster placement and would benefit from some time away from their current care duties. A similar service is sometimes provided to birth families as well. Where a child has a disability or complex needs that may place considerable pressure on a family, it can be a big wellbeing boost to be afforded a short break.
By choosing to become a foster carer and offering short-term respite services to support existing carers, you’ll be in a unique position to provide support and change the lives of both children and young people in care as well as their parents or carers.
You can become a respite foster carer with a local authority, or an independent fostering agency, such as Excel Fostering. Here at Excel, we’re always searching for caring individuals to become respite foster parents and offer essential care services. If you’re interested in helping children and young people in your local area, are in good health, are over the age of 21 and have a spare bedroom in your home, we want to hear from you. Once you apply you’ll have the support of a supervising social worker who will be on hand to offer advice and guide you throughout the assessment process. We’ll also provide extensive training to help you provide the best possible care. Once you become a registered respite carer, you’ll be provided with a respite foster care allowance to help cover the cost of the new child or young person living with you in your home, as well as reward you for your hard work and dedication to your new role.
It’s important to note that here at Excel, we do not generally recruit for solely respite carers. As part of your fostering career with us, you will have opportunities to support other carers by taking part in respite foster care.
If you want to learn how to become a respite foster parent, or need more information on respite care for foster children, contact us Excel Fostering today. Alternatively, browse through the full list of the different types of fostering.
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