We love respite carers!
If every foster carer in the country had a trusted ‘go-to’ respite family to give them a regular break, we’d be well on our way to helping make long-term care sustainable.
Respite care is looking after a child on a regular basis for a weekend (or other agreed short time period) to give their care-giver a break. This kind of care suits many, particularly those unable to do full-time care, households with busy schedules or empty-nesters who can fulfil a grandparent role in the life of a child.
Respite carers are trained, assessed and approved through an agency just like every other form of out-of-home care. But don’t let that put you off. It is a small sacrifice of time and energy that will make a dramatic difference, not just to a foster child, but for a whole family.
Story from a respite carer:
I came into ARK with a compulsion to make a difference in the life of a child. Unfortunately, with two young children at home and full-on work commitments, full time foster-care was not an option for our family. We discovered, however, that a number of families who were caring for at-risk kids full time, were incredibly overloaded. We went through the training process for foster care with a local agency and were approved, and on joining an ARK community, requested with our agency to do respite for a couple of toddlers being raised by another ARK family. They were completely worn out! Now we have the kids for a weekend a month, giving those parents a well-needed break, and the kids love us and know us through ARK. The routine has been great for the kids, and we can see we’re making a real difference, not just directly in the lives of the kids when they’re with us, but also helping a worn-out couple get the rest they need so they can be better-equipped to parent. Respite care has been a great way for us to get involved without having to turn our lives completely upside-down