What is respite care?

There are two main kinds of respite care:

1. Respite for child/ren’s birth family – to prevent family breakdown, generally over a period of 6 or 12 months for one weekend a month and/or a week in the school holidays. This also allows the child to have a break from a stressful situation and take some time out.

2. Respite for a full-time foster care provider – to give the provider a break, let them spend time with their own family, or go on vacation. This may be on a regular or as-needed basis for the duration of the placement, or in a time of particular stress or difficulty. It also allows the child to have a break from other children in the household and take some time out.

Respite workers are trained and assessed just like full-time foster providers. Respite workers may provide full-time care as well, or they may focus solely on respite. They may provide respite care for toddlers, children and teenagers with or without a disability.

  • It is important for foster parents to have self-care and time for themselves​
  • Children with special needs may have additional respite provided for them as part of their individual service plan​
  • All respite providers are subject to criminal record checks, child abuse registry and prior contact checks before providing services