What is respite care?
Respite care is short term care; this is where they child or young person will stay with the respite foster carer for a short period of time. Respite care is used to support other foster carers of family members for short term breaks. For example, depending on the given situation and the child or young person’s needs may depend on the respite period. For example, it could be for one night, a weekend or slightly longer. Respite fostering may be needed in various different circumstances; for example, if the current foster carer is going on holiday or has family commitments.
What are the benefits of respite fostering?
Respite fostering provides the support for family members or long term foster carers. Respite carers can provide support for the child or young person’s in the care and help them develop on a short term basis. Respite carers give the chance to enhance and change both foster cares/family members and the child or young person’s life.
Like all requirements to become a foster carer, it is important that respite carers have the time, energy and patients. Children and young people who come into care may have previously experienced great trauma. Therefore, carers need to be sensitive and compassionate. In addition, respite carers also need to be flexible and committed.
Why is respite fostering needed?
Respite fostering is required in a number of different circumstances. For example, a full time foster carer may need a holiday or they may have urgent family commitments meaning they need to travel overseas. Sometimes if a fostering placement is particularly challenging a fostering provider may arrange for them to have a short break from the placement. This can also sometimes be the case with birth families, where a child has a disability or a particularly challenging behavioural issue which means the parents are under considerable pressure and would benefit from a break.
What is involved in respite fostering?
Respite fostering involves working closely with the full time carer who is usually responsible for the child. It’s also important to reassure a child that the respite placement will only be for a short time period and that they will be able to return to their usual home afterwards. This can often be a stressful period for a foster child who may already be feeling the effects of previously disruptive changes.
If you are interested in becoming a respite carer or would like to know more information, why not give us a call on 02087990930. A member of our team would love to speak to you and answer all your fostering questions.
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Why foster carers choose Sunbeam?
- Professional, experienced, qualified staff to undertake your assessment
- High quality, professional extensive support
- A supervising social worker who will be local to you and dedicated to supporting you
- Full support on a 24 hour basis through our out of hours team
- Comprehensive and progressive up to date training programme
- The chance to be treated as a fostering professional
- Insurance cover for wilful damage caused by foster children
- Careful matching of placements with your family
- Regular support groups for foster carers and children
- Competitive fostering allowances to cover children’s needs
- Management that values the work you do and cares about welfare
Every agency is different, so choosing the right one means making sure you can look after your choice of foster children, get the best foster carer’s support and the financial benefits that are right for you.