Respite Foster Care
All looked after children are different and all placements are different although there are general categories that define the type of care. There are short-term, long-term, and emergency arrangements. There are sibling group and parent and child placements. The one aspect that these types of care have in common is that they are rarely planned in advance.
Respite fostering is in its own category because it is typically planned in advance with a specific start and end date. Because it can be overwhelming to provide full-time care for a child with difficult and demanding physical or emotional issues, these special services are essential. Depending on the disabilities and the child’s specific challenges, caregiving might be a 24/7 duty.
For non-foster families, this can provide the necessary break that they need. Not everyone has friends and family on hand to provide a break when you need a night out or a weekend get-away. Even if they do have friends and family who can step in and help, depending on the child’s needs, they might not be able toprovide the services and attention that the youngster needs. For a carer, the option of having friends and family take over the parenting duties may not be an option. Carers are specially trained to look after foster children.
While energy, patience, and good communication skills are important factors in a carer’s personality, they also must have time to recharge these factors. Being able to have a short break or holidays is a great benefit to both the carer and the child.
Welcome is proud of its carers who specialise in giving much-needed breaks to caregiver parents, both foster and birth parents. There is never-ending pressure in looking after a young person with a disability or seriously challenging behaviour or health issues.
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Respite fostering is planned in advance for a set length of time, which is usually no more than a couple of weeks. A respite carer can plan their schedules ahead of time, Because the same young person will stay with the same caregiving family at regular intervals, there is a sense of security in the familiarity of the same placement.
It becomes a holiday for the youngster to visit this “second family” rather than an upsetting event where they wonder if they have been abandoned. For children and young people who have been removed from their birth home, being moved again to a different home can be very upsetting.
It is important that the kids in these circumstances understand that the break is not from them being a burden but about them being able to expand their experience as well as a way to let them know that they are part of a large and caring network.
From the carer’s perspective, they have more control over their calendar. Some might specialise in looking after children and young people with a specific type of disability such as a physical handicap while others might focus on caring for kids with severe behavioural issues.
For more information on Welcome’s respite care, please call us on 020 3397 3332 or fill out an online form.