Respite foster care

Whether it’s a short weekend break or a longer fortnight breather, respite foster care simply allows for families to take a little break. Learn about what respite foster care is, how it can benefit both the family and the foster child, and more from our detailed guide.

What is respite foster care?

Respite fostering is a type of short-term foster placement where the child or children are placed with a foster family in order to provide a breather to their current family. This can be the foster family, an adoption family or even their birth parents. Respite foster care allows for a needed break that parents and foster families often require when taking care of children.

All of FosterCare UK’s foster cares are entitled to a 14-day respite period, should they need it. Respite foster care can last as short as a weekend or as long as a fortnight – and this can be a sporadic or regular routine for the child in care.

Reasons for needing respite fostering

Often in foster families, the level of care that a foster child needs can prove to be challenging. Foster children with disabilities or special education needs may need a great deal of care or attention, which could result in carers needing to recharge their energy. Children who have come from a traumatic past resulting in aggression or lack of responsiveness – regardless of their age – could also require the same degree of care.

A respite foster care placement allows for both the carers and the children to have a break, recharge and take a breather. Having these short periods of break time can mean there is as little disruption as possible while the carers recharge their energy. It’s also recommended to have the same respite care for foster parents each time. This means the break is less distressing for the child, as they will familiarise themselves with the respite foster carers, and more time can be focussed on welcoming the child back into their home.

Respite care for foster children

Perhaps you’re wondering how to become a respite foster carer? As a respite foster carer, you will have breaks between placements – and be able to know when these breaks take place. This means you can organise your schedule to fit around respite foster care placements. However, it should be noted that the demands of looking after a child with special needs can be intense and as a respite carer, you must be available to attend to their needs at all times.

If you’re interested in becoming a respite foster carer, we here at FosterCare UK are always looking for foster parents who are willing and able to adopt the respite care lifestyle. There is always a demand for young people who need a good home and a caring system – and our fostering training and support will equip you with everything you need prior to becoming a respite foster carer.

Need further information on how to become a respite foster carer? For advice on foster care relief or respite foster care pay, get in touch with a member of our expert team here at FosterCare UK now.

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