What to Know About Respite Foster Care (2023)

Forearm Muscles Anatomy

Many muscles make up the forearm, extending from your elbow joint to your hand. The ulna and radius bones form a rotational joint that allows your forearm to turn the palm of your hand either up or down. Two large arteries, also known as the ulna and radius, run the length of the forearm and branch into smaller arteries that service your forearm's musculature.

The bones in your forearm are prone to being broken because people often instinctually extend their forearm trying to break a fall or protect their face, which could lead to a fracture. The muscles in your forearm that allow you to bring about different movements can be categorized as anterior and posterior.

These are the muscles that can be found in your forearm:

The Anterior Compartment

The anterior superficial layer contains four muscles that originate from the medial epicondyle. The pronator teres muscle attaches to the shaft of the radius and is the most medial of the muscles in this layer. Its primary action is the pronation of the forearm. The flexor carpi radialis contributes to abduction and attaches to the base of metacarpals II and III.

Connecting to the flexor retinaculum and acting to flex at the wrist, the palmaris longus allows you to wave at a friend or say goodbye to a loved one. About 15% of the population does not have this muscle, though.

The flexor carpi ulnar is the most lateral of the muscles in the superficial layer, responsible for flexion and abduction at the wrist. It attaches the hand to the pisiform bone and base of the 5th metacarpal. This muscle allows you to move your wrist back and forth.

(Video) Foster Care Respite Explained

The Intermediate Layer

Only one muscle makes up the intermediate layer, which originates from the medial condyle of the humerus and the radius. The flexor digitorum superficialis (FDS) lies between the deep and superficial muscle layers and splits into four tendons that attach to the middle phalanx of a finger. At the proximal interphalangeal joints (PIPJs) and the metacarpophalangeal joints (MCPJs), the FDS flexes the fingers and contributes to wrist flexion.

The Deep Layer

The flexor digitorum profundus (FDP) splits into four tendons and originates at the ulna. This muscle attaches to the distal phalanx of each finger and allows flexion of the metacarpophalangeal joints and distal interphalangeal joints. Bending your ring, middle, index, and pinkie fingers is possible because of this muscle. The flexor pollicis longus extends laterally to the flexor digitorum profundus muscle.

This muscle attaches to the distal phalanx of the thumb and originates from the radius. It stretches laterally to the FDP and allows you to bend your thumb. A square-shaped muscle found in the FDL and FDP, the pronator quadratus attaches to the radius and originates from the ulna. The pronator quadratus allows you to pronate your forearm and is innervated by the median nerve.

Posterior Compartment

The radial nerve innervates all the muscles in this compartment; it contains more muscles than the anterior compartment and can be split into the superficial and deep layers. Eight muscles are in the superficial layer, and five are in the deep compartment. Four of the five muscles in the deep layer act on your thumb and index finger.


The Superficial Layer

The brachioradialis muscle attaches to the distal radius and originates from the lateral humerus. It allows you to flex your elbow and lift a glass of water to your mouth. Contributing to wrist abduction, the extensor carpi radialis longus muscle acts to extend the wrist. It attaches to the metacarpal III and originates from the lateral aspect of the humerus. The extensor digitorum splits into four tendons and connects to the distal phalanx of each of your fingers. Originating from the lateral epicondyle of the humerus, this muscle acts to extend your fingers at the PIJs and MCPJs.

The extensor digiti minimi originates from the lateral epicondyle of the humerus and acts to extend the little finger. The extensor carpi ulnaris attaches to metacarpal V and originates from the lateral epicondyle of the humerus. It contributes to wrist abduction and acts to extend at the wrist. The anconeus is situated superior to the other muscles in the superficial layer. The anconeus attaches to the olecranon and originates from the lateral epicondyle. It acts to extend at your elbow joint.

The Deep Layer

The supinator muscle can be found in the deep layer and originates from the lateral epicondylitis of the humerus and the ulna. The deep radial nerve innervates this muscle.

The extensor pollicis brevis allows you to make a thumbs-up signal. It attaches to the proximal phalanx of the thumb and originates from the posterior radius. Your extensor pollicis longus muscle acts to extend the thumb and is attached to the distal phalanx of the thumb. The extensor indicis attaches to the distal phalanx of your index finger and also acts to extend it; this muscle originates from the interosseous membrane and the ulna.

Your abductor pollicis longus muscle attaches to metacarpal I and abducts the thumb. It sits between the radius and ulna and originates from the interosseous membrane.

(Video) RESPITE CARE: Should YOU Use it? And 4 Reasons Why FOSTER PARENTS DON'T

What Is Respite Foster Care?

Respite foster care is a program where a foster parent or family may temporarily take in a foster child so the child’s primary foster parents can take a break.

Foster children have often experienced profound trauma, so caring for foster children can be mentally and emotionally draining for foster parents. Offering the option of respite care allows foster parents to avoid burnout.

According to the National Fostering Group, there are three common challenges that foster parents face.

Managing challenging behavior. There are several reasons foster children may end up in the system, and many of these reasons can be traumatic. This trauma, such as abuse and neglect, may lead to behavioral difficulties, as the child likely won’t have the necessary skills to properly cope. Challenging behaviors may include violence, tantrums, and running away.

Interacting with biological families. In most foster care situations, the goal is to reunite the children with their biological parents. To do this, foster parents may need to stay in constant contact with the child’s parents, and biological parents may be offered supervised visitation time with the children.

Sometimes, the biological parents will be receptive to the system. At other times, foster parents will bear the brunt of their anger and resentment. This can be incredibly difficult for foster parents, who know that keeping the children connected with their biological parents is often crucial despite the emotional toll it may take on them.

Experiencing exhaustion in your own life. The term “caregiver burnout” describes burnout caused by spending all of your mental and physical energy caring for others. While it’s often applied to those caring for ailing loved ones, it also applies to foster parents. This challenging aspect of foster parenting is what respite foster care aims to alleviate. If you’re struggling to care for yourself, it may be difficult to care for the children within your custody.

(Video) How Respite Care Should Work

Medically complex and special needs children in particular may require a higher level of caretaking that can more easily cause exhaustion and burnout. In some states, respite care is made available for biological parents of medically complex or special needs children.

How Does Respite Foster Care Work?

In the United States, foster care is managed at the state or county levels. As a result, the foster care system, including respite foster care, will look different from state to state. Some states may not even offer respite foster care.

States may also set a specific amount of hours per year that each foster family can use for respite. Foster parents may opt to use a few hours of respite care for a night out or may decide to take a few days at once for a trip or a weekend off. States may require that this time off is requested in advance. Some states may allow trusted family or friends to step in while others only allow this in emergency situations.

Payment for respite foster care is determined on a state-by-state and (in some cases) county-by-county basis.

How to Do Respite Foster Care

If you want to know how to be a respite care provider, the first thing to do is check your state’s guidelines on respite foster care. Each state is different, and you will want to be sure you’re looking at the guidelines that apply to your area.

Your state guidelines will tell you whether you qualify, and if you don’t, they will let you know what changes you need to make in order to qualify. General respite foster care requirements may include:

  • A minimum age limit
  • Your home passing a health and safety inspection
  • A private room available for at least one youth
  • Financial stability beyond your foster care stipend
  • Background checks
  • A drug screening
  • Proof of a recent physical exam
  • Completion of foster care training

The Gladney Center for Adoption offers ten tips for being a good respite foster care provider:

(Video) FOSTER CARE: RESPITE PLACEMENT UPDATE// Plus: Pre-Adoptive Placement Update

  1. Be prepared. Get as much information about the child you will be fostering as possible. Be prepared for anything they may need to be comfortable or require in case of emergencies.
  2. Get trained. You will likely have to pass some sort of training to be able to be a respite foster care provider, and additional training will help for times when you are fostering a child with special needs.
  3. Be available. In most states, you will have advanced notice of when you’ll be needed. Sometimes, though, emergencies arise, and you will want to be ready.
  4. Create a schedule. Coordinating a consistent schedule as a foster family has many benefits. You will know ahead of time when you’ll be needed, and this allows the family to take regular breaks. The pattern is predictable for the child and allows you to form a better relationship with the family and child.
  5. Take multiple kids. Sibling groups will feel much more secure when they are together.
  6. Don’t be in it for the money. Do you get paid for respite foster care? Yes, but generally, the stipend is just enough to cover the children’s expenses. If you’re only in it for the money, you’ll be sorely disappointed, and the children will be able to tell.
  7. Have a positive attitude. Become a respite foster parent because you truly love helping kids.
  8. Have the correct perspective. Respite foster care is not “babysitting.” You’re caring for a vulnerable child, and you have the opportunity to help in their healing.
  9. Have fun. Respite foster care doesn’t just have to be a vacation for the foster parents. It can be a vacation for the kids too. Make a plan that covers their needs and also includes activities and outings.
  10. Build bridges. Working in respite foster care could lead to becoming a long-term foster parent if you’d like. It also can be a stepping stone to adoption if reunification is not in the child’s best interests.

Becoming a respite foster care provider can be a rewarding experience. If you’re not sure if you qualify, though, do a search for your state’s respite foster care information to find out.


How much do you get for respite fostering? ›

In all cases the carer will receive a weekly fee for both the parent and child e.g. £237 x 2 (£474). The level of allowance paid will be determined by the age and legal status of both parent and child.

Why do foster carers need respite? ›

Foster carers may need regular breaks to support them in their role, and often it is these breaks which help maintain placements when they are particularly demanding. Respite breaks can prove helpful in supporting fostering families that care for children with a range of needs.

Can foster carers get respite? ›

A short-term change in routine, such as foster parent respite, allows both the carers and the children to have a rest. The carers can recharge their energy without too much disruption for the child.

Does respite care mean putting a child in care? ›

Respite care means taking a break from caring, while the person you care for is looked after by someone else. It lets you take time out to look after yourself and helps stop you becoming exhausted and run down. There are lots of respite care options.

Is respite care free of charge? ›

You might be able to get financial support from the council to help you take a break, but respite services are means-tested so you or the person you care for may have to contribute towards the cost.

Is respite free for 6 weeks? ›

The service will be free of charge up to a maximum of 6 weeks. Your progress will be reviewed every week by the reablement team: If your reablement lasts longer than 6 weeks, you will need to complete a financial assessment to determine how much you may be required to contribute.

What are the disadvantages of respite care? ›

One of the main drawbacks caregivers describe about respite care is that they sometimes feel guilty about taking time away from their loved ones. However, this guilt will be short-lived once you begin to see how respite care strengthens the relationship you have with your loved one.

What should I bring to respite? ›

When you're coming for a Respite stay, bring:
  • At least three sets of clothes that have been labelled with your name or initials.
  • Any prescription medications that you take.
  • Any books or magazines that you enjoy.
  • Be sure to bring some photos so you feel like you're at home.

What are the duties of a respite? ›

The primary role of a respite caregiver is to help clients with tasks of daily living such as feeding, dressing, grooming, bathing and toileting. Other respite care worker duties include cooking meals, running errands and performing light housekeeping duties.

Can foster carers hug? ›

In foster care, it may be appropriate to hug or cuddle children, or carry or give them 'piggy backs'. In residential care hugs should be offered only in a sideways manner and kissing is always inappropriate.

How quickly can respite care be arranged? ›

Our professional respite carers can step in and support your loved one so you can enjoy a well-deserved break. Respite care can be arranged from as little as a few hours to several weeks, and the level of care will be tailored to your loved one's needs and preferences.

Can you take a break from fostering? ›

All Fostering Agencies offer and arrange short breaks for their foster carers.

Is respite care a good idea? ›

One of the major benefits of respite care for caregivers is the ability to recoup some time for your own personal needs. Respite care is a great solution that allows caregivers to free up some time for themselves whilst their loved one is cared for by a trustworthy and experienced professional.

Who qualifies for respite care children? ›

Respite care supports children up to 14-years-old who have been involved in a family trauma or crisis within their own family. In other cases, children may be from very deprived homes and may suffer from neglect.

Can you foster at weekends only? ›

As a respite foster carer, you allow a family to benefit from a well-earned rest by caring for their foster children for a short period, usually lasting between a couple of days up to a week - often at weekends or during school holidays.

What are carers not allowed to do? ›

Carers should not smoke in service users' homes. Workers must not be intoxicated or consume alcohol while on duty. Carers can't take another person into a service user's home. If they feel the circumstances are exceptional, they'll need to get written permission from their manager to do so.

What is an example of respite care? ›

Respite could take the form of enlisting friends and family to watch your loved one so you can take a break to visit others, go to the gym, or handle chores, for example. Or respite care can mean finding volunteers or paid carers to provide in-home services for your loved one, either occasionally or on a regular basis.

Do social services provide respite care? ›

Respite care is when someone else takes over your caring duties for a while, allowing you to take a break. The respite care may be for a few hours or a few weeks, and could take place in the home or in a placement away from home. You can arrange respite care through: social services (via a social worker)

How much is the carers Support Grant 2022? ›

It was announced that carers who qualify for the Carer's Support Grant will get a once-off payment of €500 the week starting 21 November 2022. You will get one payment of €500 only, even if you are caring for more than one person.

How much is care per hour? ›

How much does a live-in carer cost? Live-in care prices can start at £950 per week, and hourly care can cost from £15 per hour.

How long does a care package take? ›

However, it usually takes 2-3 days to clarify your exact care needs, sort out paperwork and any funding issues and then allocate and introduce you to your careworker.

Which of the following are benefits of respite care? ›

7 Important Benefits of Respite Care
  • Rest and Relax. It's imperative that you have time to rest and relax. ...
  • Stay Healthy. When caring for someone, it can be easy to prioritize their health needs and ignore your own. ...
  • Engage With Others. ...
  • Maintain Your Identity. ...
  • Keep Things in Perspective. ...
  • Assistance and Support. ...
  • Reduce Tension.
27 Jul 2022

Why do people feel hesitant to use respite services? ›

Some people balk at respite care because the idea of a temporary caregiver makes them picture a poorly trained caregiver who isn't qualified. It's important to remember that respite care might be temporary for your family, but it's still a full-time job for the caregiver.

Why do people use respite care? ›

'Respite' or 'respite care' is when someone else takes care of the person you care for, so that you can have a break. A break can give you time to do everyday activities or just to relax, deal with stress and look after yourself.

What caregivers need most? ›

Physical and emotional support are what most home caregivers need. Physical help to care for senior loved ones includes help with daily tasks, decision-making, preparing meals, running errands and performing chores. Also, caregivers need emotional support to deal with the stress of caring for an elderly person.

What equipment does a caregiver need? ›

Sometimes family caregivers can become overwhelmed by sudden events and their responsibilities and may feel they need more support.
10 Items for a Caregiver's Ready Bag
  • Smartphone. ...
  • Medical Information. ...
  • Pill Organizer. ...
  • Healthy Snacks. ...
  • Incontinence Supplies. ...
  • Hand Sanitizer. ...
  • Small Flashlight. ...
  • Pocket Calendar.
15 Mar 2017

Does respite care affect attendance allowance? ›

There are implications in losing Attendance Allowance, DLA or PIP for both (a) the disabled person and (b) their Carer. There are therefore good reasons to ensure that when you use respite care you avoid the 28 day limit. Losing Attendance Allowance/DLA/PIP can affect the disabled person's other benefits.

What does respite hours mean? ›

Respite is taking a break from your caring responsibilities. Taking time out can help you feel rested and re-energised.

What is a respite worker called? ›

Also known as patient sitters, respite workers provide primary caregivers of disabled or ill clients temporary respite from their duties. Their responsibilities include supervising activities, assisting with personal hygiene, and accompanying clients on outings.

Can foster children have sleepovers with friends? ›

Yes. Children in foster care, like all children, can have sleepovers. However, occasionally there are some exceptions.

Should you tell your foster child you love them? ›

Foster Kids Need to Hear That They Are Loved

That they are safe in your care. No matter when you choose to say it, telling them they are loved is indeed critical to building a healthy, trusting relationship. However, hearing it, even daily, is just not enough.

Can foster carers have cameras? ›

CCTV should not be used to monitor the behaviour or actions of children or young people in the home. The use of CCTV in a foster home must be considered necessary, proportionate and known to all those living in, or coming to the home.

Is respite care long term or short term? ›

In home respite care, for when you're in a need of a break. Respite care is a short-term passage of care, often for one to two weeks, from a carer who is different from your usual provider.

Is respite care means tested? ›

Like with many aspects of state funded services, the amount of free respite care your loved one is entitled to is means tested and will require an initial assessment into your needs.

What does rest bite mean? ›

Respite means a period of time off – a break or a rest. Rest bite, in their mind referred to a "bite-sized piece of rest", and so the phrase rest bite was born.

Why do foster carers quit? ›

Large majority of carers having to cut back on essentials, as rising prices risk deepening fostering shortages. Over half (54%) of foster carers are considering resigning because of the cost of living crisis, a survey of over 1,000 has found.

Does anxiety stop you from fostering? ›

Provided we're sure your mental health won't affect your own health or ability to care for a child, it won't prevent you from fostering and you have every chance of being approved during the application process.

Can foster children share a room on holiday? ›

While a private bedroom for your foster child is generally preferable in most scenarios, holidays can be an exception. Accommodation is often in shared family apartments or open-plan hotel rooms, so you'll need to consult your supervising social worker before making a booking.

Can I get respite for my autistic child? ›

Daily living with a disabled child

Your local authority is responsible for providing any non-medical care services your child is assessed as needing. This could include equipment for daily living, home care, access to play schemes, and respite care so that you can have a break.

What is the best synonym for respite? ›

synonyms for respite
  • breather.
  • breathing space.
  • downtime.
  • hiatus.
  • interruption.
  • layoff.
  • letup.
  • lull.

Is respite care the same as hospice? ›

Respite care is short-term relief for in-home hospice caregivers. Medicare benefits pay for patient transport and up to five consecutive days of inpatient care at a Medicare-approved nursing facility or hospital. You can get respite care more than once, but only on an occasional basis.

Can you get funding for respite care? ›

You may be able to get a grant from Carers Trust if you need respite. You will need to apply through your local Carers Trust service. They can explain everything you need to know about who qualifies and help you apply. They may also be able to let you know about other ways to pay for respite.

Can I get respite for my ADHD child? ›

Is respite care available to people with ADD/ADHD and their carers? Yes, but unfortunately it has to be acknowledged that respite care is a service that is generally in short supply and that people with ADD/ADHD are a group for whom it is often difficult to find places within respite services.

Why is it important for parents to get respite from care of their child? ›

Respite care provides parents and other caregivers with short-term child care services that offer temporary relief, improve family stability, and reduce the risk of abuse or neglect. Respite can be planned or offered during emergencies or times of crisis.

Can you foster with no spare room? ›

To meet the minimum standards outlined by the National Minimum Standards for Fostering Services 2011, you must have a spare room for long-term foster placements. This benefits children and carers, who both receive the privacy they need to adapt to their new living arrangements.

Do you need a spare bedroom to foster? ›

Everyone requires their own space, especially children and young people, regardless of whether they have been brought up in foster care or not. A bedroom is an essential tool in helping to keep foster children feel calm and relaxed.

How much do respite carers get paid UK? ›

Average £12.42 per hour.

What are respite payments? ›

Respite fostering payments

We pay our respite foster parents a generous fostering allowance. The fostering payments are designed to reward a foster parent for their hard work but also enable you to fully provide for the child in your care - such as food, toiletries and activities.

How much do foster parents get paid a month UK? ›

All foster parents receive a foster care allowance to cover the cost of caring for a child. The minimum is usually between £137 and £240 a week. The total amount you get depends on: where you live.

Do foster carers get paid when they don't have a placement? ›

As a foster carer, you are paid on a fortnightly basis, while you have a child in placement. It is important to consider that you will not be paid any fees or allowances for any period that you do not have a child in placement.

Is fostering classed as a job? ›

While foster carers are paid a professional fee for a professional task, and being a foster parent is most definitely a job, fostering is not first and foremost about the pay. Learn more about if you can work and foster today from our helpful guide.

What are foster parents not allowed to do UK? ›

The bedroom cannot be shared with another person including any of your own children. It doesn't matter if you own your own home or if your house is rented as long as you have a spare room for a foster child to call their own. This is important for giving them a sense of their own space and privacy.

What is an example of a time you need a respite? ›

Caregivers sometimes need time to rest and relax, go on vacation, shop, go to appointments, work, or exercise. You might use respite care if you're in charge of someone who has a condition like: Cancer. A brain injury.

Do you pay tax on fostering income? ›

While foster parents pay little or no tax at all, there are some things that may affect this: The number of children you have in placement. Whether you're paid enhanced fees for the children in your care. Whether you operate as a partnership for tax purposes.

Can you foster if you work full time? ›

Fact! You can foster and still work. It can be viewed as an advantage, although it is not a necessity, if you have previous experience of caring for, or working with children. This will put you in good stead for tackling any issues that may arise with the child placed in your care.

Can you claim benefits while fostering? ›

As a foster carer you may be entitled to claim benefits and tax credits. The allowances and fee (if you get one) you receive from fostering are normally completely disregarded as income or only taxable profit from your fostering is taken into consideration for the purposes of calculating your entitlement to benefits.

How often should foster carers be visited? ›

They will, or should, visit you at a minimum once every 6 weeks. Supervision can be in person or virtually but there is a statutory requirement for the SSW to see your house, your children and you face to face so they may do a mix of both.


1. We Are Providing Respite Care for a Foster Family // Foster Parent Diaries
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2. Our 1st Foster Care Placement // Respite Care
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3. Fostering Kids: What No One Tells You About Foster Care
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4. Foster Care Respite Placement Update
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5. Preparing My Foster Child to go into Respite Care
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6. What is Respite Foster Care?
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