What is Respite Foster Care?

Respite care is one of the most common type of fostering.

Respite (sometimes incorrectly called rest bite) involves children living with their own family or foster carers, but having short stays with another foster family to give their birth family or main carers a break.

At Compass Fostering, respite care for children usually involves looking after a child or young person who is placed with other Compass Fostering carers for a weekend or one to two weeks.

What is respite fostering?

Sometimes you may need to take a break and recharge your batteries to be the best carer you can be. Our respite carers provide short term care for children and young people within their local network of Compass Foster carers when support is needed most. Respite care is generally over a short period of time, it can be on some weekends or a few days throughout the year like in the school holidays- or one to two weeks if required, too.

Under certain circumstances we can also arrange temporary care for your fostered child to spend time in another home should you need a break. Respite care should be planned, and we will help you to decide where your child should stay for a short while to give you short rest.

Why is respite fostering needed?

Fostering is extremely rewarding, but it can come with its challenges. This is why respite can be arranged for foster families who choose to take it.

Some young people struggle with their own challenging behaviours because of their backgrounds and experiences growing up. Being a foster parent is full on, and respite has proven helpful to those who may become overwhelmed with day to day family life. Often, taking a short break can help to maintain a foster placement when things get tough.

When you become a Compass foster parent, you will have a closely-knit community of local foster carers in your area. We encourage these support networks and when the need for respite may come up, our carers are able to support one another with it.

Becoming a respite foster carer

If you have any questions about becoming a respite foster carer or about fostering in general, get in touch with us. Our friendly team of professionals will be happy to talk you through anything you need to know.


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  • You must have a spare room in order to foster.