RESPITE FOSTER CARE
There is a huge need for foster parents but also for respite foster care providers.
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When I first became a foster parent I took something to heart that was told to us in our foster care training.
That these kids have been through trauma and the effect of moving them to a foster home for respite care could have some negative effects on them.
Now several years into foster parenting I realize that there is a need for it.
For our case, we had been putting off a trip that we had wanted to go on for a long time. We didn’t have the opportunity to take our foster daughter with us. This isn’t is always the case, sometimes you are able to travel with your foster child.
Our case because of where it was in the legal system and lack of certain paperwork there was just no way. I felt a lot of guilt for putting her in respite care for two weeks but in the end it turned out to be a wonderful experience.
Our worker introduced us to wonderful foster parent. She was around my age had kids the same age and was so thoughtful! She allowed us to have a playdate so our girl could get used to being there with me there and adjust to the new environment.
She let us facetime her several times throughout the trip and would send me pictures, videos and updates!
So all of this to say. Use respite.
It not only gave us a break from our high needs foster child, but gave us time to reconnect as a core family and not worry about social worker meetings or court or any of the other things being a foster parent entails. 2 weeks was more than enough time away from her and we couldn’t wait to be back together!
Now I know this isn’t going to be easy for all kids in foster care. And I encourage you to build a good bond and foundation of trust before using it but don’t be like me and not use it because you feel guilt.
Also maybe you are looking at a way to get into foster parenting but don’t feel like you can commit full time. I encourage you to become a respite care provider. It helps other foster parents, gives the kids another safe space and allows you to see if foster parenting is something you could see fitting into your life.
Friends and family can also go through an approval process to be a respite home for you and we are thankful that my in laws have done this so the are able to watch our foster children in our home over night. If you have friends that are willing to do this consider it a huge blessing.
As a foster parent you will need support. I was naive in the beginning to think my husband and I could do it all.
WE NEED WILLING RESPITE CARE PROVIDERS!
So in conclusion
Check out the video where I chat more about respite care!