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What is Respite Foster Care?

Respite foster care is a type of short-term placement where a child is placed with a foster family to provide a breather to the current family whether it is a birth family, adoption family, or foster family.

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. 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 also important to us.

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.

Foster carers who specialise in respite fostering can arrange their lives so that they are available at present times such as weekends to accommodate regular respite care sessions. 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, the respite foster carer must be available to attend to these needs at all times.

Consistent foster care relief

It’s advised to have the same family providing respite family foster care for parents 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.
  • 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. Getting the chance to be cared for by a respite carer could be an enlightening experience for a foster child.

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How to become a respite foster carer

Capstone Foster Care is always interested in finding people who are interested in providing respite care. The local council is always in need of a parent or parents who are willing and able to adopt the respite care lifestyle and become a respite foster carer. There are always young people who need a good home and a caring system. The foster carer training and support you need is available and Capstone Foster Care is always able to help you with any special service you need. It is never too late to make a difference in a child’s life.

For more information including respite fostering pay and more direction on how to become a respite family foster carer, get in touch with us today. Alternatively, if you would like to register your interest, or simply talk to someone further, please call Capstone Foster Care on 0800 012 4004 today.

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