We did respite care on Friday and Saturday. A 5 month old who was wearing a size 1 diaper and a very skinny 2 year old. At 6 am the 2 year old walked into my home. Literally walked in Athe front door and sized up the place. I guess we passed because she came up to me and said. "Mom, I hungry." Well, naturally I fed her.
She made herself right at home and didn't want to leave when it was time to go. She isn't the first foster child to have this reaction. No cares about separation from their foster family. No mention of any other mom. This little one was quite a talker. If you had come by you would have thought that she had been with us for a long time. We called her Little Bit because her foster mom quickly told me both girls names but said they call her Little Bit. Honestly, I couldn't pronounce the names let alone spell them. So we had Little Bit and Munchkin (we named the 5 month old).
I am amazed at how many kids walk into our home with no tears. It is easier to number those that cried for their mom then to number the ones who don't. I often wonder why. I hand Little Man off to the church nursery to a flood of tears each Sunday. I don't think that he would calmly walk into a strangers home, there would be tears.
We are often called by DSS to see if we will do respite care. For those who don't know, respite care in foster care is when a foster family needs someone to take care of their foster child for a short period of time. Typically foster families do respite care for other foster families. We are licensed so no one has to worry about SLED checks and such. The family that provides respite care is paid the per diem rate, here that is a little over $10/day.
We try to say yes every time they call. On the other hand, we try to use respite ourselves as little as possible. Our Little Man has never gone to respite care. He simply goes on vacation with us. Many foster parents take their kids on vacation with them. Some never do and some had plans prior to kids coming into their care that can't accommodate other kids. We have also done respite care for a sick foster mom, another foster mom needed a break from behaviors, so it is not used for just vacations.
While I don't like to use respite care, it can sometimes be necessary. Has any of my readers been a respite provider?