Skip to main content

When you foster children, you quickly learn that self-care is crucial. You need to have regular breaks, but what do you do when you can’t afford a babysitter? That’s where respite care comes in!

Respite care is a crucial part of the foster care system, providing much-needed relief for foster families. It can provide a much-needed break from the demands of foster care, and it can give the children in your care a chance to experience a different environment.

There are a few things to keep in mind when you’re considering respite care. In this article, we’ll share some tips on how to make respite care work for your foster family.

Preparation Is Key

When you’re used to being the one in charge of your children, it can be a bit of an adjustment to have someone else come in and take over for a while. That’s why it’s important to talk to your respite provider in advance about your family’s routines and expectations. This can help the provider understand your family better and make the experience more seamless for everyone involved.

Get the Kids Onboard

Making sure your children know who the respite provider is and what they will be doing while you’re away is crucial to a smooth respite experience. This can also help to ease any anxiety they may have about being cared for by someone new.

Set Some Ground Rules

It can be helpful to set up some ground rules with your respite provider before they arrive. This will help them understand your family’s routines and expectations. Some things you may want to discuss include bedtimes, screen time, and food. This will help the respite provider know what your children are used to and what you expect while you are away.

Enjoy Your Time Off!

Make sure you try to relax and enjoy your time while the respite provider is taking care of your children. It can be tempting to worry about every little thing that might happen while you’re away, but it’s important to trust that the respite provider is capable of taking care of your children. Consider this a chance to recharge and come back fresh and ready to parent. So take a deep breath and relax. Your children will be just fine.

Stay in Communication

When you get back from your break, it’s important to sit down with your respite provider and debrief. This is a chance to talk about how things went and to give feedback on what worked well and what could be improved. It’s also an opportunity to thank your respite provider for their help. Debriefing can be a helpful way to ensure that your respite experiences are positive and beneficial for everyone involved.

Respite care can be a great help for foster families. It can give you a break when you need it and can provide your foster children with additional care. By following these tips, you can make respite care work for your family.


We hope you found this article helpful. If you are interested in respite care, or if you have any questions, please contact Pathway Family Services. We would be happy to help you find the respite care that best meets the needs of your foster family.