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Respite Foster Care

As a Respite Foster Carer, you will provide temporary care for foster children when their foster parents need some time to themselves. The time you will be providing care is usually short, ranging from 1 or 2 days to about a week. We arrange planned respite care where possible so the child can establish a trusting 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 well-earned rest 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. 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.

Becoming a Respite Foster Carer with National Fostering Group gives you numerous benefits

Fostering can be flexible

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 disrupted by the change and can build a trusted relationship with the respite carer.

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’s 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.

Why is Respite Foster Care important for foster parents?

Respite Foster Care is important for foster parents because it allows them to take some time for themselves. We all need breaks to recharge, even parents, and by providing Respite Foster Care, you allow the foster parents to take care of their own well-being too so they can come back and continue to give the foster child the best care possible.

Care on your terms - become a respite foster carer today!

Can I become a full-time foster parent after Respite Foster Care?

Many of our Respite Foster Carers become full-time foster parents. They experience the highly rewarding nature of foster care and simply feel it’s right for them long term. Respite fostering often allows carers to get a feel for what full-time foster care could be like, and whether this is something they could do full-time.
If you find yourself in this position, you can simply speak to your Social Worker who will guide you through the process. The process itself is straightforward and quick, and you will not have to go through another assessment. To speak to us further about transferring from Respite Foster Care to full-time fostering, get in touch with us and we’ll further discuss any questions you may have.

What makes NFG special?

Talk to us about becoming a Respite Foster Carer

If you have any more questions about becoming a Respite Foster Carer, we recommend getting in touch to talk it over with complete confidentiality. We have teams in every region, so you will be able to chat with a fostering professional who is local to you. They will be able to share their experience and give you all the information you need to make a decision.

Respite Foster Care: FAQs

What is Respite Foster Care?

As a Respite Foster Carer, you will provide temporary care for foster children when their foster parents need a break. The time you will be providing care for are usually short periods of time from 1 or 2 days to about a week. So the child can establish a trusting relationship with the respite carer, we arrange planned respite care where possible.

What are the benefits of becoming a Respite Foster Carer?

As a Respite Carer, you will receive many benefits. You’ll help to make a difference in a child’s life by creating lasting memories and experiences they’ll treasure. You’ll also help them to become the best version of themselves and provide them with the tools they need to venture through life.

Another benefit as a Respite Foster Carer is you’ll be providing relief from foster parents so they can experience a little time-out so they can recharge. As you step in to provide Respite Foster Care, you’ll also create a lasting and trusting bond with the foster child. This can be an extremely rewarding experience and one that you’ll forever be grateful for.

Can I be a Respite Foster Carer if I work full time?

As you provide temporary care that can range from 1-2 days per week or even a week at a time, you can become a Respite Foster Carer despite having a full-time job or other commitments. In fact, you can still work full-time as a long-term foster carer, too. You just have to be available to take your foster child to and from school and during the summer holidays.

Can I be a Respite Foster Carer during the holidays and at weekends?

The purpose of Respite Foster Care is to provide care for short periods while the child’s main carer or carers take short breaks for themselves. It’s also flexible and gives you the opportunity to accept or decline depending on what works best for you and your schedule. Whether that only be weekends or during the holidays, as a Respite Foster Carer you get to choose when you are available.

Foster Care Myths, Busted!

All that you need is a spare bedroom and the commitment to making a positive difference in a child’s life.
Care without the full time commitment
Find out if you could be a foster carer
Find out if you could be a foster carer
In a few simple questions, you’ll know if you’re suitable to apply to become a foster carer.