Respite Foster Care Payments

foster care mom with her foster child

Respite Foster Care Payments: Supporting Foster Families

Foster parents selflessly open their hearts and homes to care for children in need. But fostering also involves significant demands and challenges. The day-to-day stress of caring for traumatized children with high needs takes a toll. Without adequate support, many foster parents quickly become overwhelmed and burnt out.

That’s why respite care is such a vital service for the wellbeing of foster families. Respite gives caregivers a temporary break by having another qualified provider care for the foster child for a brief period of time. This allows the foster parents to recharge their batteries and avoid fatigue. It also ensures continued high-quality care for the foster youth.

How Respite Fostering Works

There are several ways foster families can access respite services:

  • Planned Respite: Scheduled breaks on a routine basis, like one weekend a month. Provides something predictable for families to look forward to.
  • Emergency Respite: Allows foster parents to get urgent help immediately during a crisis, like a medical emergency.
  • In-Home Respite: Helper comes to the foster family’s home so the youth can stay in their familiar environment.
  • Out-of-Home Respite: Child stays with another licensed foster provider for a short duration.

Respite Foster Caregivers

Respite is provided by substitute caregivers who must meet the same licensing requirements and background checks as regular foster parents. They receive specialized training as well. Respite providers may include:

  • Other foster parents willing to take on occasional extra children
  • Foster agencies’ designated respite foster homes
  • Independent respite providers coordinated through agencies
  • Relatives approved as part-time respite providers
  • Group homes with capacity for respite stays

Payment Rates for Respite Care

Respite reimbursement rates vary significantly depending on several factors:

  • State and county differences in foster care pay
  • Agency-coordinated vs. privately arranged respite
  • Level of difficulty of caring for the child
  • Provider qualifications and experience
  • Hourly rate vs. daily rate structure

For example, daily respite rates may range from $25 per day in Oklahoma up to $150 per day in parts of California. More challenging placements or seasoned providers may receive a few dollars more per hour or day.

Benefits of Respite for Foster Parents

Studies show providing quality respite reduces foster parent stress, improving retention. Key benefits include:

  • Reduces fatigue from demanding parenting duties
  • Allows foster parents to focus on self-care
  • Provides physical and emotional relief
  • Helps avoid social isolation
  • Reduces risks of parental burnout
  • Allows connecting with biological children
  • Stabilizes foster placements long-term

With planned breaks, foster parents have something positive to look forward to. They return renewed and better equipped to nurture the children in their care. Respite is considered so beneficial that many states now require agencies to offer it.

Benefits for Foster Children

Respite also advantages the children by:

  • Maintaining stability and preventing placement disruptions
  • Allowing foster parents to say “yes” to new placements
  • Providing a change of pace in a new environment
  • Introducing positive connections with new caregivers
  • Giving overworked foster parents feedback and perspective

By supporting families with respite, children receive more consistent, high-quality care from less stressed caregivers.

Picture of Kidzoot Team

Kidzoot Team

Parenting tips and tricks from experts with years of experience in child rearing. Get practical advice and fun activities to enjoy with your kids from our team of parents and educators.




Follow Us on Twitter

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *