What is Respite Care?
Respite care usually “takes place over a weekend and rarely lasts more than two weeks.”1 The schedule can be incredibly flexible, as respite care isn’t a full-time commitment. You will be responsible for taking over the care of a foster child during the respite timeframe. The child will come to your home with an overnight bag as well as notes from the foster family regarding the child’s schedule. Respite care allows the child to “experience kindness from another family, forming more positive relationships with more parental figures, and depending on age, gain a new sense of independence.”2
How often is Respite Care needed?
Respite care is needed at different times depending on the foster family you are providing respite care for. As with all parents, foster parents occasionally have low points and can start to feel overwhelmed. As a respite care provider, we aim to have you take care of the child before these thoughts enter a foster parents mind. Respite care is used to “step away from fostering for a few days and hit the reset button.”2
Do I qualify to be a Respite parent?
Respite parent qualification is different in every state. In Minnesota, respite parents must be “licensed as a basic support service provider and have a license with a home and community-based services designation.”3 Respite care is a DHS enrollment-required service and respite parents must go through similar trainings as a full-time foster parent.
If you are interested in respite parenting with Nexus, several of our sites offer the service and can lead you through the training process. Visit www.nexus-yfs.org to view Kindred Family Focus, Woodbourne Center, or PATH sites for more information.