17.1 Respite Care
Respite care is the provision of periodic and/or intermittent, temporary substitute care of children who are in the care and custody of the Children’s Division (CD), placed in a licensed resource home (foster, relative or emergency). Respite care services may be approved as part of an adoption or guardianship agreement. The Respite plan should serve equally the needs of both the foster youth and the foster caregivers. Respite is designed to provide relief for the resource provider from the stresses of the constant responsibilities of providing out-of-home care. The time the foster youth takes a break from the resource family should include planned opportunities for social activities and enrichment. Respite is a fun and rewarding time for foster youth while their placement providers are allowed to relax and have time to themselves for recharging. Respite is not for use in regular child supervision situations when a parent would normally use ordinary child care, i.e., hiring a baby-sitter for an afternoon or evening outing, or for attending foster parent training or seminars. Refer to Subsection 10 of this chapter for supervision options. Respite care may be planned in advance or used in emergency situations. Respite care may be provided to licensed resource providers a minimum of 6 hours, daily, overnight or on a weekly basis. Respite care should be used to maintain stable placements, but should not be used to exclude foster children from ordinary and traditional family activities. Using respite is important to reduce placement disruptions and to support safer and healthier homes.
Chapter Memoranda History: (prior to 01-31-07)