Respite Care for Foster Parents?
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Respite Care for Foster Parents?
I kind of have a foggy idea, because the social worker called me and explained it to me but I was half asleep because I was up all night (3 kids have the flu). We never got respite before, because of funding, but now we will.
What exactly is it? How often is it usually and for how long? Is it mandatory?
That would vary state to state and even counties have some different guidelines. I'm outside of St. Louis. I'm not sure if our stuff is the same.
In my state it is 2 days/month, but there is never enough respite providers. I have heard the best way to ensure that you get respite is to arrange it yourself with other foster parents
Its not mandatory that you use it, at least not in any area I know of. We also get it each month and in our area it is designed to allow foster parents to get away for a weekend (48 hours) OR you can use it in smaller chunks for babysitting expenses. In my area it works out to $5 an hour for a total of 48 hours a month.
In some areas you just keep track of what you use and put in a receipt once a month and in other areas it is already factored into what you get each month to foster. If it's already factored in (your monthly payments will go up by that amount) then you don't need to account for it when you use it (or not). If it's something you can claim for then just keep track of what you use and submit a claim. Your worker can advise you more.
In my area I get the respite money factored into the money we get each month for our foster child but for the child we adopted from foster care we can claim babysitting expenses which is what we do. When ever we go out without the baby my 15 year old babysits her and records her hours. Once a Month we put in a claim for up to 48 hours and our daughter gets paid the (up to) $240 a month for her work.
Just check with your worker to learn more about it. My personal feeling is, if it's available to you then use it. If enough people don't use it then the system will just take it away and nobody will get it.
I am a former ward. I spent 9 years in "the system" I am not a foster parent. It's comparable to sending the child to grandma's house for a while. The longest I spent at another house was a week. I don't know the exact time limits. I know you don't receive as much money as you normally would for this time period though. The family that is "watching" the child receives a good amount of money though. One of the houses I stayed in received 55 dollars a day for each day I stayed with her. That was over 5 years ago though. It's not mandatory.
One time I went because my foster parents at the time wanted to go on vacation. They wanted to have a romantic getaway without the kids. Another time was because the family just need to clear the house out a bit. There was 8 kids in that house, five were adopted and 3 foster so they just needed some breathing room. Personally, I would have gone insane if I was them so I had no arguments even though I was only 10. I needed some breathing room too. lol Anyway there can be many reasons. It's just a time period you can take if you need some time to yourself for whatever reason. All the times I went to respite I had a good time. That didn't happen too often either so from my experience it's not a bad thing. Hope that helps a little bit. Sorry I don't know more.
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