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 parent's 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. Respite families participate in a licensing process and applicable training.
If you are interested in respite parenting with Nexus, several of our agencies offer the service and can lead you through the training process. For more information, visit Nexus-Kindred in Minnesota, Nexus-Woodbourne in Maryland, or Nexus-PATH in North Dakota.