Thursday, May 26, 2011

Respite Care

So adoption is not an option for you. And you don't think you could be a foster parent long-term (I know, the attachment thing is very hard). But how about doing respite care?
Respite is where you take foster kids for a weekend or other short amount of time so that the foster parents can have a small break or if they need to travel and can't take the foster child with them for some reason. A respite care provider keeps the child for a short amount of time, then they return to their foster home.

Here's an article from the Dayton, Ohio Examiner about respite care:

  Do you have an extra bedroom available and want to do something to help kids?  Believe it or not, foster care and adoption aren't the only options available.  If you would prefer short term stays and want to meet lots of different kids, respite care may be the way to go. 
  So what is respite care?  Put simply, it's just giving parents or foster parents a break for a day or two (although some respite stays may go longer depending on the situation).  Foster parents send their foster kids to respite when they have special plans that aren't child-friendly or when they go on vacation (especially if they go out-of-state since it can be hard to obtain permission to take foster kids with them).  Sometimes regular parents are also allowed to use respite, particularly if they have special needs kids.
  By becoming a respite caregiver you will be helping many children and their families.  There are drawbacks of course, some of these children have major behavioral problems and may steal personal property or become destructive.  You also may be asked to take in deaf, blind or handicapped kids, which can be a major adjustment if you have never dealt with situations like that.  
  However, many respite parents report that the handicapped kids were the ones who taught them the most and opened their eyes to new ways of communication.  For instance, I know a foster parent here in Dayton who took in a deaf 7-year-old child for a two week respite stay.  Although neither he nor his wife knew sign language, they still managed to communicate with the little boy and were amazed at how creative they could get when need be.
  So if you are interested in respite care, how do you get started?  The best place to start would be with your county's social services program or a private foster care agency.  Either of these sources should be able to point you in the right direction.  I will warn you that you will probably still have to take some training classes and have a thorough background check done.  It may seem like a lot of work at first, but if your heart is truly in it, you will be surprised how quickly the process goes. 

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails