respite foster care

Respite foster care

Respite fostering provides crucial support to foster families who need some time together to relax and rewind.

What is respite foster care?

Respite foster care (also known as short break foster care) provides valuable support to foster families who may be experiencing difficulties or simply need some time to unwind and spend some time together as a family.

This type of foster placement provides foster families with a short break, while a child in their care stays with their respite foster parent for a few nights. Generally, respite care takes place over the weekend and during school holidays.

Respite care is carefully planned with the foster parent and responsible local authority to ensure the child’s best interests and needs are met. Wherever possible, we encourage respite foster parents to get to know the children ahead of their first stay, so they can begin to establish a positive, trusting relationship.

Benefits of respite foster care

There are many benefits that respite foster care placements offer, including;

  • Providing foster parents with a break from their day-to-day duties
  • Helping to make a difference to a child's life - even if you're only caring for a child for a short period of time, you can still provide them with positive experiences
  • Offers a chance for a child in care to develop a positive and trusting relationship with another adult

What qualities are needed?

  • Energy
  • Compassion
  • Flexibility
  • Patience
  • Understanding
  • Commitment
respite fostering pay

Respite fostering pay

How much do you get paid for respite foster care?

As a respite foster parent, you'll receive a generous fostering allowance, up to £75 per night for each child in your care, depending on your level of experience.

Foster parents receive 22 nights of respite per year, so you could receive up to £1,650 per family that you support – assuming they require their full respite allowance – while playing an important role in supporting the stability of a child in care.

You may also wish to provide vital support to children and young people who need an emergency foster care placement, particularly if you are flexible and available at short notice.

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who can foster

Who can become a respite foster parent?

As respite care provides short-term planned placements, it’s ideal for families, couples or single people who want to make a difference in a child’s life but can’t commit to full time fostering.

The initial requirements are:

  • You're over 21 years old
  • You have a spare bedroom
  • You have a legal right to work in the UK
  • You have the time, energy and passion to transform a child’s life

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become carer

How to become a foster parent

The first step to becoming a respite foster carer is simply to get in touch with us. You can do this by filling out our online form or giving us a call on 0800 0857 989.

We’ll speak to you about the role of a respite foster carer and the fostering service we provide, as well as answer any of your questions. We’ll also take a few basic details from you to make sure you meet the initial requirements to foster.

We’ll then arrange to visit you at home (or online via video call), so we can get to know you better. If you’re ready to take the next step, you’ll start the application process and if accepted, you’ll be assigned a dedicated assessing social worker who will support you throughout your fostering assessment right the way through to your panel day.

After panel, you’ll hopefully receive the good news that you’ve been approved as a foster parent and welcomed to your local ISP fostering family. Applying to become a foster parent takes around 4-6 months and will likely be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.

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What is respite care for a child?

Respite care provides you as a parent or foster parent with the opportunity to take a break from looking after your child. This may be weekend foster care, a night during the week or perhaps a week over the summer holidays.

Respite for parents is particularly important if you’re caring for a child or young person with a disability or complex needs as it gives you the chance to rest and unwind from an incredibly demanding role.

At ISP, we arrange for the children and young people in our care to stay with another foster family who they've gotten to know really well through a number of meetups. We try to make this an enjoyable experience for the children so it's more like a fun sleepover where they play games, enjoy different activities and are treated to their favourite foods.

If you’re a parent who is caring for a child with a disability, you will need to apply for respite services for parents through your local authority. Find out more about short break care here.

Speak to our team today

Whether you're looking for more information or you're ready to apply, we're here to help you on your journey.





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