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Respite Fostering

Respite foster care is a short-term placement in which the child is placed with a foster family to provide respite to either the parents or current carers.

What is Respite Foster Care?

Respite care for a child

Respite fostering can be a weekend or week-long (or longer) break for parents and carers – and the respite family can be part of a regular routine for the child in care.

As a respite foster carer, you can expect to have placements which can either last as short as a weekend, or longer, break for parents and carers. In these instances, the respite family can be part of a regular routine for the child in care. When you become a foster carer with Capstone Foster Care, our respite families help by providing respite care to foster parents, allowing time for the foster family to have a break.

All of Capstone’s foster carers are entitled to a 14 day “respite allowance” should they need it, so our need to recruit specialist respite carers is just as important to us as recruiting for standard foster carers.

What is the need for respite foster care?

The reason for families needing respite from the parenting of a child is often because of the level of care the child needs. A child with disabilities or special educational needs, or a child who has been through trauma that resulted in aggression or lack of responsiveness, may need a great deal of care and attention – regardless of their age. A short-term change in routine, such as foster parent respite, allows both the carers and the children to have a rest. The carers can recharge their energy without too much disruption for the child.

Respite care for children

Are you considering becoming a respite foster carer? Depending upon the experience you have as a foster carer, you may find respite care more or less demanding than other types of foster care. If respite care for children is the only type of foster care you are involved with, you will also have your own breaks between placements – and you know when those breaks take place. As a respite foster carer, you can work out your own schedule that fits around respite care placements.

While it is easier to plan your time around placements in respite care, the demands of looking after a child with special needs can be quite intense. Whether the child needs attention for physical needs or for emotional needs, as a respite foster carer, you must be available to attend to these needs at all times.

Consistent foster care relief

It’s advised that the same family providing respite family foster care for parents should be used each time. The benefit of respite care where the same fostering family provides the break each time is that it is less distressing for a child who may find change upsetting. Less time is spent during the change with the logistics of the transition, and more time is spent welcoming the child back into the respite foster home for a short visit.

Benefits of respite care for foster parents

Respite foster care also provides benefits for parents, too. Some of the benefits of respite care for parents include:

  • Support – respite fostering provides support for family members or long term foster carers.
  • Breather – it allows foster parents that sometimes much-needed breather to take some time out. It means foster parents can come back to a situation feeling refreshed after a weekend foster care respite, or longer.
  • Development – by introducing respite foster carers into a child’s life, it’s another chance to allow the child to grow and flourish. Every carer is different – and brings with them a different skillset.
  • Providing experiences to the child - getting the chance to be cared for by a different respite carer could be an enlightening experience for a foster child, as they would be exposed to a different environment and different values of a family home.

How to become a respite foster carer

Here at Capstone Foster Care, we are always interested in finding people who are interested in providing respite care. The local council is always in need of a foster parents who are willing and able to adopt the respite care lifestyle and become a respite foster carer, and there are always young people who need a good home and a caring system. By becoming a respite foster carer with the team here at Capstone, you will receive extensive foster care training and support in order to support your journey to becoming the best foster carer you can be. We’re always on hand to help you - our friendly team offer support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, meaning you’re in safe hands with us.

It's important to note that here at Capstone, 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 – but your role at Capstone will likely be more of a generalised foster carer role, rather than a specific respite fostering role.

For more information including information about respite family foster care, respite fostering care payments, or more direction on how to become a respite foster carer, get in touch with us today.

Thinking of fostering?

If you’ve got any questions or would like to find out more about fostering with Capstone, fill out the form below.
An experienced fostering advisor from your local area will then be in touch.

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