Respite Care for Foster Parents

Taking in someone elses child is not an easy thing to do. Sure, as a babysitter or home daycare provider this is a possibility many may have considered at one point or another, but to do it in the long term for a child who is unknown to you, such as is the case with foster care, this is an iffy proposition.

Adding to the problem are the many children in the foster care system that are suffering from a variety of disabilities and who may need specialized help in some cases around the clock.

Respite care makes foster parenting of disabled children possible and while in the past these children were notoriously hard to place and commonly would end up institutionalized instead of living with a loving family, the availability of respite care has come to reverse this trend considerably.

Makes Caring for Disabled Children Possible

Now as then, foster parenting is an exercise in selflessness and as such there is not a care giving opportunity in the world that will take this particular requirement away from the foster parents.

All the same, the assistance offered via respite care makes it possible for foster parents to take care of their own needs in addition to the needs of a children that may go well above and beyond the normal needs associated with the care of a child.

Here are a numbers of ways that respite care makes foster parenting of disabled children possible:

    • With the help of respite care as little as three to four hours once a week the foster parent has the option of leaving the house to go to the gym, attend a meeting of their local congregation, or visit a beauty parlor for some much needed pampering.

    • Two hours of respite care permit the foster parent to stay in their home but take an uninterrupted bath instead of a rushed shower where one ear is consistently trying to make out the noise of the a child needing help.

    • The danger of damaging the marital relationship of the foster parents may be warded off by occasional weekly respite care appointments that let the couple leave the house and go on a date. This of course provides a stable environment for the foster children. While other married couples may be able to meet this need simply by enlisting the help of a babysitter, a foster family with a disabled child that requires specialized care most likely would not dream of entrusting this child into the care of an untrained teen.

    • Respite care makes foster parenting possible when other children are also in the home. Disabled children tend to require the lions share of the parents attention and in a foster family this may lead to upset, acting out of other children, and even some resentment against the foster child. To counteract these potential pitfalls, the use of respite care permits the parent to spend an afternoon or evening exclusively with the other children and thus equalizes the attention that is given to the disabled child.

    • Respite care permits foster families to branch outward and set up their support network of peers and also social workers. While the care of the child is still their primary responsibility, the attendance of support group meetings makes it possible to go ahead and blow off some steam if needed.

See Also:

How to Choose a Respite Care Giver