Part-Time Foster Parenting = Respite Care

     Not sure if Foster Parenting is for you?  Start by becoming a Respite Caregiver!

Respite Care keeps families together by providing temporary relief from the rigors of raising a child with special needs.  As a Respite Caregiver you provide a vital service in the community and help prevent children from entering long term out-of-home care.

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        In-home respite ranges from 1 to 10 hours a day and out of home respite includes up to 12 nights every three months depending on the needs of the child and family. This interval of rest enables parents/caregivers to refuel, replenish and restore their energy and resources to parent children with special needs.  Our homes are licensed by the Maryland Department of Human Resources with criminal background, medical clearance and safety checks.  All respite parents complete specialized training to care for children with special needs.  The individuals served by Children’s Choice are from varied backgrounds and have a myriad of needs.  Young people with mental illness ages 3-17 are referred from parents, caregivers, educators, mental health care providers and all the County agencies.  

        The respite program serves as a bridge for individuals and their families who are in need of temporary relief from the stress of caring for a child with mental illness. 

+ What is Respite Care?

Respite provides a break for families dealing with issues surrounding the mental health needs of a child. The designated child, in respite, stays with a particular foster family (called a respite resource home/family) for a set amount of time, usually a weekend. This allows the child and his or her family to “recharge”.

The Respite Program is designed to help prevent children, who currently live with their parents or guardians, from going into an out of home placement by providing the child and his/her parents with the regularly scheduled, therapeutic break.

+ What Does Respite Care Looks Like?

Out of home Respite is normally 12 nights every 3 months. 6 weekends. Parents sometimes choose to do just one weekend a month or 3 nights at a time (Fri – Monday) and only do 4 weekends. Children are reauthorized for another 12 nights after each 3 month period. Typically respite starts on Friday Evening and goes to Sunday afternoon.

In home Respite is 72 hours every 3 months. The in home respite days can range from 15 minutes to 10 hours per day. In home is called in home because one of our resource parents can go into the home of one of our birth families to do respite there or they can take the child out into the community or back to their own home. In home respite is when the child does not spend the night at the resource family’s home.