The purpose for respite care is to allow resource parents to get a break from the constant demands that may be associated with caring for children in foster care. Foster parents are encouraged to take respite weekends at least once every three (3) months.
Also, foster parents are encouraged to provide respite care for each other. Your family social worker will assist you in making these arrangements. We try whenever possible to have one consistent family provide respite care for your child, so that the child feels comfortable with these arrangements and hopefully has a good time also.
Respite care needs to be arranged when you feel yourself getting tired, irritable, and needing some emotional space. You should not call to request respite care when you are in the middle of a problem with the foster child. The child should not see going to respite care as a punishment for bad behavior.
With rare exceptions, foster children should be included on family trips and vacations. In general, if your birth children are going on a trip the foster child should also. It is usually not possible to arrange respite care during major holiday times.
Please request Respite Care with at least 21 days advance notice so that agency personnel may do what is needed to find a temporary home for the child.