Respite foster care

A respite foster carer provides short-term care for children. We arrange planned respite where possible, so the child can build a trusted relationship with the same respite carer.

What needs does respite foster care fulfil?

This type of fostering gives time off to foster families and birth families who are in need of extra support because of high levels of stress. Basically, they need to have a short period of time to recharge their energies.

Respite fostering gives families the chance to stay together and a much-needed opportunity to rest. It’s also ideal for families with a child who has a disability or additional needs; it gives them time away from the demands involved in caring for a child who has high level care needs.

Children from families who need respite foster care are linked to a foster carer – a familiar face who can provide regular periods of respite. This means the child won’t feel traumatised by the change and can build a trusted relationship with the respite carer.

What you get from being a respite foster carer

You’ll be providing an invaluable service to foster or birth families who need a break in order to continue caring for a young person. You’ll be giving families the chance to stay together thanks to a much-needed opportunity to rest.

It is a highly specialised and rewarding role. More often than not, the child will have a special health or disability requirement – you’ll be offering them a home-away-from-home where they can thrive. This type of care can take place during the week or at weekends.

Our respite foster carers don’t do this alone: National Fostering Group provides excellent support and training. You have a dedicated Supervising Social Worker who is backed by an experienced local team, access to 24/7 advice and excellent training delivered in your area.

If you think this type of fostering would suit you, please enquire now.

Respite care is often the difference between a challenging foster placement working and not. It makes foster family life work in difficult situations – nobody burns out and everyone gets what they need.

Respite carers are surprisingly hard to find but it makes such a difference. This type of foster care allows bigger things to happen. They play themselves down as if they’re not as important, but this isn’t the case at all!

Ella, supervising social worker

Respite fostering experiences

Robert family had received respite care to alleviate pressures on his family. He was 11 years old, on the cusp of puberty, and had ADHD, ODD and Asperger’s syndrome. This made some of his behaviour quite challenging.

He was placed with Diane initially for respite foster care. Diane continued to provide him with the routines he was familiar with and reassured by, and he thrived on one-to-one attention.

The relationship between them was working well, so Robert was eventually placed with Diane long-term. The commitment she was able to give him on a full-time basis created a trusting bond; when Robert revealed he was transgender, Diane was able to help him explore – with the help of professionals – what this means to him. Read Robert’s full story.

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