Section 6, Chapter 17 (Respite), Subsection 3, – (Recruitment and Retention)

17.3   Recruitment and Retention

Respite care providers may be recruited by the resource provider, agency staff, and through the application process for foster/adoptive resource assessment.

Resource provider applicants are requested to provide respite as part of the assessment and training process. The resource applicant may not begin providing respite until all the following steps are competed:

  1. Completion of all respite forms;
    1. Application to Provide Respite Care, CS-RC-1, including all required signatures
    2. Sign a Respite Care Provider Approval ,CS-RC-3
    3. Sign a Cooperative Agreement for the Purchase of Respite Care Services with the Children’s Division, CM-10
    4. Read, agree to and sign the Resource Parent Discipline Agreement, CD-119
    5. If there are smokers in the household, the Notice of Hazards, CD-101, must be completed
    6. Read, agree to and sign the Safe Sleep Practices, CD-117
    7. Foster Respite Care Provider Checklist, CS-RC-2, including all required signatures
  1. Completion of all background screenings ;
      1. Fingerprint criminal check
      2. Child Abuse and Neglect registry checks
      3. Case.Net check
      4. Family Care Safety Registry check
      5. Sex Offender list check by provider residence address
  2. Completion of respite care training; and
  3. Open and approve a respite vendor type in FACES.

Resource providers shall be encouraged to recruit individual respite care providers with whom the child(ren) in their home are familiar. Staff are also encouraged to recruit previously licensed resource providers who are no longer actively providing care for children but left the agency in good standing. Resource worker staff will use the Resource Parent Exit Interview, CD-112, to facilitate recruitment of resource providers that are closing their license as well as former resource providers. The completed form will be reviewed by the worker and used to encourage post-foster parent resource opportunities. The CD-112 will be retained in the form section of the case file.

The resource worker will provide support and instruction to the respite provider regarding:

  • Completion of the necessary paperwork/forms
  • Amount of respite pay and the payment process
  • Training opportunities

Individuals and families referred to the agency as potential respite care providers shall complete the appropriate approval process. If approved, the respite care provider shall be placed on a current, local list of respite care providers. Resource providersshall be given a copy of the list with updates provided on a regular basis or upon request.

The Children’s Division resource worker will utilize but not be limited to the following to promote retention of respite providers:

  • Invite all respite providers to the Resource Parent appreciation events
  • Encourage the respite provider to participate with the organized Resource Provider support groups
  • Provide information regarding web sites and materials to enhance the respite provider’s parenting skills

17.3.1 Guidelines for Respite Selection

When selecting an individual to provide respite consider:

  • Individuals who are familiar with the children in your home
  • Individuals who are willing to complete the screening and training requirements
  • Good communication skills
    • The respite provider and the resource parent should be able to discuss child related issues so that the respite time is successful. Information sharing and receiving is essential for the respite provider to know how the child is being parented.
  • Individuals who demonstrate positive and effective parenting skills
  • Understand loss, grief and attachment issues
    • Required training for respite providers includes information on these topics
  • Individuals who demonstrate ability to protect and nurture children
  • Individuals who present to be flexible with their time and availability
    • Respite providers must be flexible and prepared for unexpected emotional, medical and/or behavioral problems with the children, of which the foster parent may not yet be aware
  • Individuals who demonstrate the ability to work as a member of a professional team
  • Individuals who demonstrate the ability to follow rules and guidelines
  • Disclosure by the selected individual of their motivation for providing respite services
    • Applicants for respite provider positions must be carefully screened about their motivations for providing respite. Some applicants may be interested in working with children in foster care because of their own personal experiences with foster care or with abusive or neglectful situations. While these experiences may sensitize the applicant to the trauma the children may be experiencing, they must be screened to ensure that they have processed any unresolved feelings. Potential providers need to understand that each child’s experience is unique and cannot be compared to their own.
  • Individuals who demonstrate the ability to meet the developmental needs of the children
  • Individuals who demonstrate the ability to cooperate with Children’s Division or private agency staff

Information resource parents may want to share with a provider:

  • Sensitivities your child has to touch, teasing, sound, and light
  • How your child best communicates with others
  • Calming activities that soothe your child
  • Past abuse experiences that may be triggered by specific activities; how to avoid such situations, and strategies for providers if your child becomes upset
  • Your child’s fears
  • How you respond to your child’s behaviors

Some questions respite providers may want to ask resource parents:

  • What are four important things I should know about your child?
  • Does your child have special routines and schedules?
  • What are your child’s likes and dislikes?
  • What are the expectations at bedtime? When is bedtime? Are there special routines? Does the child wake up, sleep walk, and wander at night? Does the child wet the bed? How do you handle these issues?
  • Does your child require special food preparation or have any food allergies?
  • Is your child safe alone?
  • Does your child play well with other children?
  • Can your child be outside? Will your child wander?

For best practice in using respite, remember these:

  • Have a scheduled pre-placement visit whenever possible. This makes the respite more “comfortable” for everyone involved.
  • Use the same respite provider whenever possible. Consistency will be best for the child.
  • Give ample notice to your worker for approving respite and in helping you locate respite for you. Your worker can also assist you in locating a respite provider.
  • When you have agreed to provide respite care—make it a commitment!
  • Be Prepared!! Give to the Respite provider:
    •  All contact information (resource parent/workers)
    • Schedules for child and birth parent visits or appointments
    • Medications/allergies of child & any additional important info

Chapter Memoranda History: (prior to 01-31-07)


Memoranda History

CD09-07, CD15-75, CD18-16