If you are a foster parent, you may have heard the term “respite care” but aren’t quite sure what it is. Respite care is a short-term break for foster parents who have an illness, will take a vacation, or attend to other personal matters. During this break, a child in your care will be in the company of a care provider.
Respite care is often coordinated by an agency like Living Well Family Care which oversees foster care. Moreover, respite care aims to provide rest or time-out for the foster parents while ensuring that the children in their care remain safe and well-cared for.
Types of respite care
Generally, there are different types of respite care available, depending on your situation and needs. Some common types of respite care include:
• Out-of-home respite: This type of respite care takes place in a separate home or facility and may include daycare or weekend stays.
• Respite camps: These camps are specifically designed for children in foster care and offer a fun and safe environment while the foster parents take a break.
• In-home respite: This type of respite care occurs in the foster parent’s home and usually includes overnight stays.
Respite care in foster care is different from respite care in other settings. Foster families can use respite care to take a break from caring for the child, to receive training on how to care for the child, or to take the child on vacation. Another importance of this service is it can help keep families together and prevent children from entering long-term care.
Considerations in choosing in-home respite care
When looking for in-home respite care, consider the needs of a child. Some things to look for include:
The age of the child – In-home respite care can range from assisting parents with young children to caring for elderly or disabled relatives. It is excellent if an in-home caregiver can help a child appropriately based on age or stage. Infants, toddlers, kindergarten-aged, and older kids have different demands when receiving care.
The type of care needed – Some families may need a sitter to stay with their children while they go out, while others may need someone to take care of their child full-time. In this aspect, the flexibility and willingness of the care provider with the family’s schedule can be crucial too.
Another essential point to consider is the requirements of a child with a disability or special needs.
The traits of the caregiver – Parents should consider what kind of personality they are looking for in a caregiver. They should find someone who is patient, compassionate, and capable of dealing with children.
Additionally, better check the experience and skills of the caregiver. For example, one must be qualified to offer first aid and CPR when needed. It can be done by asking for references or coordinating with the home care agency.
Finally, it is critical to meet with the potential caregiver and see how well they mesh with the family. It will help ensure the child feels comfortable and safe with the new person in their home.