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meeps1142 t1_jcyjjid wrote

I also heard of someone who provides respite care -- essentially, she had custody of a girl every other weekend in order to relieve the mother.


kallistini t1_jcz2gb0 wrote

Great advice. Respite was a godsend to my mom when she was doing foster care, especially if there was a doctors appointment or something where it makes it awkward to corral a bunch of munchkins


siero20 t1_jczjbmm wrote

My mom has been fostering and to follow all the rules about having anyone take care of the kids in her absence is fairly insane. I'm currently the only approved person who can just watch them at the house because in order for someone to do that they need to be fingerprinted, fbi background check, interview with the caseworkers, etc.

Just getting myself approved took over 6 months even though we were quick about responding and providing everything they needed from me.

That means that respite care is often the only path to covering childcare in line with the rules (can't just hire a babysitter, not that you should have to!), and every time my mother has asked the caseworkers about scheduling respite care she has had to basically strong arm them to find a respite worker because they're in such short supply.

She's unfortunately had to go so far as saying she was going to have to give the kids back in one situation when they refused to find someone.

I guess my point is that providing respite care definitely will help a lot of foster parents as it really can be hard to follow the rules and have any breaks or keep up with what you need to do outside of taking care of the kids.


boutell1 t1_jczlbod wrote

That’s interesting about the babysitter option, I wonder if that is for certain cases only because my care coordinator said that I could hire a baby sitter or have my parents watch a child in my care so long as I felt comfortable with the individual.


siero20 t1_jczon6q wrote

Unfortunately it's a mixed bag. She'll have a case worker tell her she can do one thing but then the handbooks they give her explicitly forbid it fairly often. They're oftentimes not very knowledgeable about their own rules.

IIRC she can have the children stay at a babysitters house (that hasn't been viewed by CPS or reviewed for suitability) without breaking rules but cannot have a babysitter at her house to watch the kids.

The rules aren't very consistent and I think the majority of people just opt for not following them to the letter, but that's not generally how my mom operates so.


canentia t1_jd0g722 wrote

> IIRC she can have the children stay at a babysitters house (that hasn't been viewed by CPS or reviewed for suitability) without breaking rules but cannot have a babysitter at her house to watch the kids.

strange. feel like if anything, it should be the opposite


thelanoyo t1_jcz9smi wrote

This is what my fiancee and I are planning to do. We don't want the full commitment of taking care of a kid full time, but she was a foster child and wants to help in some way


CommonGround2019 t1_jcymi7t wrote

Do you have contact information?


HugeToaster t1_jcywed4 wrote

Find your local health and welfare office and ask.

Generally you need to take the same process as a foster parent, just only interested in respite. It varies by state though so definitely call the office and ask.


RoadsterTracker t1_jcyx9nv wrote

Start the same way you would by being a foster parent, but tell them you are only interested in doing respite. It's a needed piece of every foster care experience, and they will work with you. You likely will still have to get a foster care license, and take all of the training required to do so, but in the end essentially are a babysitter for however much time you will commit.


cgriswoldirl t1_jczhskx wrote

Respite care requires a background check but not full licensing, at least where I am at in CA. I have been a foster parent for 13 years, adopted three and fostered many more. Respite is a huge help to foster parents. Please sign up


ace_at_none t1_jczkdyy wrote

How exactly does it work? Are you "assigned" a family and schedule or do you basically go on a babysitter list so foster parents can contact you when/if they need help?


cgriswoldirl t1_jczsj04 wrote

You can go about it in two ways; you can be put on a list of available respite providers, or you can be a respite provider for an individual(s) or a family.

The 1st way you are available to who needs you, but you can still specify what age groups you can handle. No everyone can handle babies or teenagers and vice versa. My wife and I foster drug addicted and exposed kids from 0-5.

The second is often done by family friends or even other family members that want to help someone they know specifically. Obviously rules are different everywhere, making doing the right thing that much harder.


ex-apple t1_jczf88d wrote

My wife and I did this and it was a really tough, great experience. It’s such a worthwhile sacrifice to make if you have the time and space.


Cannanda t1_jd05r5t wrote

My family did this for years. We didn’t have the resources to take on a full child, so we had teens spend the weekend with us. They slept on the couch, but got the chance to have a fun weekend, full home cooked meals, and someone to support them. The last child we fostered from 15-18, helped him getting into college, my dad gave him his old car. He’s now 35, married and rather successful. Any help is some help


GenXChefVeg t1_jczlk59 wrote

I did this in college for parents who had disabled kids. Super rewarding and eye-opening if you haven't had much experience with disabled children.


boutell1 t1_jczkw2k wrote

Yes! I was going to add respite care as an option too. I became a licensed foster parent last year and at the time I was single. It was incredibly challenging to balance everything with the child I had assigned to me as a solo parent. That child was eventually reunited with their birth family but after that I explained to DCYF that I needed to only do respite care until my girlfriend moves in later this year and then I think we will be able to handle more full time care.


bullevard t1_jczedt6 wrote

I knew CASA was a thing but had never heard of this. Thank you for sharing.


Bighorn21 t1_jczkiws wrote

Correct, anyone who wants to do this can contact basically any foster care placement office (both nfp or for profit) and get trained and set up to provide respite. Then when needed they can call and you also most likely get paid for the service. The process is not short and they will need to do some background and training for obvious reasons but it helps out foster families tremendously.


mmdeerblood t1_jd0lm1b wrote

Does anyone here know how to only do respite care/apply for this?