Because not everyone is able to be a full-time foster parent, there is another way of helping a child in need. It’s called respite care, and you’d be ideal for it. It does not entail receiving calls at all hours of the night from a social worker. The greatest thing is that you can always choose and schedule when you care for a foster child.
What is respite care?
Respite care is short-term, temporary relief for a foster child’s primary caregivers. This prearranged respite can be for a few hours, days, or weeks depending on the need.
As a respite caregiver, you get to love and care for a foster child that desperately needs more adults in their life doing just that. You get to be the “weekend getaway” for the foster child’s family. At the same time, you give the foster family a break from the responsibilities that come with full-time foster care.
5 Reasons Why Respite Care is So Important
You provide stability for the foster child.
Instability could have an impact on the emotional well-being and mental health of a child, making it difficult for these children to build healthy relationships in the future.
Respite care allows a foster family to keep their child in their home for an extended amount of time. It also teaches the child to form positive ties and relationships with others.
You support the foster parent and family against burnout
Foster parents get to a point when they feel they can’t do one more meeting, one more project, one more thing. They love their child but they need a break.
When a foster parent burns out the child is moved to another home, and has to go through the attachment process all over again. While it’s no one’s fault when this happens, this is avoidable with a little break once in a while.
You are yet another great role model in the lives of the foster child.
Children become what they see and are taught to believe in. There can never be too many positive role models for a foster child. They need people who teach them appropriate behavior, how to make informed decisions and to respect others as well as themselves.
You teach a child to trust other adults.
When a youngster loses faith in their primary caregiver, they feel rejected. This rejection has long-term consequences that can follow them into adulthood if they do not learn to trust and connect with adults.
Foster parents, and respite providers, play an important role in teaching a child to trust again.
You allow the foster family to re-connect.
Foster families require a short respite as well as a reminder to their own children that they are still their parents. They also require stability within their family structure.
You don’t have to be a full-time foster parent to assist a foster child. Make a difference in the lives of others by becoming a respite care provider. You are ideal for the position. Contact Kids First for all the information you need to start this process.