All foster carers can be approved as respite carers. The service is available to foster carers where the plan for the child involves occasional short break care.
Foster carers may also request foster children have respite care because they, or the foster child might need a break to re charge batteries.
Also it might not be possible to include a foster child in holiday plans. Foster carers who start fostering specialising in respite care often decide to become full time foster carers.
Children needing respite fostering can be any age from one year to 17 years old, but will more than likely be of school age or above.
People working full time may only want to or be able to offer respite weekend care. Respite carers can provide valuable support by making a regular commitment of a few days a month.
Fitting regular short breaks around daily life will become part of a child’s life whether it is for holidays, weekends, day care or baby-sitting.
Like all requirements to become a London foster carer, it is important that respite carers have the time, energy and patience. Children and young people who need respite may have previously experienced trauma.
Therefore, respite carers need to be sensitive and compassionate, flexible and committed.
Respite care is an ideal solution for families, couples or single people who might work full-time but still want to make a difference to a child’s life.
Respite care usually takes place at weekends and school holidays. It is a major support for foster children and foster carers. It could also be for a child in a residential school who needs to experience typical family life.
Respite carers will work as part of a team with the full-time foster carers and sometimes with the children’s parents. Respite is usually part of a shared plan to ensure a consistency of care in the child’s life.