Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Respite Care

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?


  1. we do respite care x 3 years. same little guy. the grandma will get guardian ship soon which ends his county involvement. however, grandma hasn't been able to handle him without regular respite care. so we don't know what will happen. I think we'll just become unpaid babysitters? who knows ;)

  2. Yes. We did respite care for a sibling group of 4 a couple times. We later did respite care for a little girl while her foster mom went to a class reunion. We did two week-long respite care stints for two different infants. One of those infants became our foster son a few months later and stayed for almost a year. We have never used respite care ourselves.

  3. I did respite once recently for a precious little 3 year old. I mean most precious little one ever. Her foster mom needed a break. She came to me very sick. No one told me she was sick otherwise, I hate to say it, I wouldnt have accepted her because my little one keeps getting sick. We were going to make the best of it. Foster mom checked in later in the day and asked me to ask her if he wanted to go home... We all know how that turned out. I truly expected some form of reaction when she came to get her. Mine runs to me and jumps in my arms. She did nothing. Foster mom just said "lets go." It really hurt my heart. I havent used respite and dont plan to but you never know what life has in store for us. I plan to continue to do respite until I open my second bed for placement.