Family Foster Care and Kinship Care (CA-FKC) 22: Respite Care
Respite care reduces caregiver stress, promotes the stability of placements, and ensures child safety and well-being.
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PurposeChildren in Family Foster Care and Kinship Care live in safe, stable, nurturing, and often temporary family settings that best provide the continuity of care to preserve relationships, promote well-being, and ensure permanency.
- Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
- Procedures need strengthening; or
- With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
- For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
- Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
- Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
- Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
- Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
- Timeframes are often missed; or
- Several client records are missing important information; or
- Client participation is inconsistent.
- No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or
- Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.
|Self-Study Evidence||On-Site Evidence||On-Site Activities|
The organization collaborates with resource families to develop a written respite care plan that is regularly reviewed, and addresses:
- available respite care resources;
- frequency and duration of respite care; and
- approved respite caregivers.
Interpretation Respite care plans for children in treatment foster care should be developed as part of treatment planning and reviewed at least quarterly.
Examples: Respite care planning can include helping resource families to identify individuals within their own support network, or the child’s network, to designate as approved respite caregivers.
Respite care plans may also incorporate developmentally-appropriate normalcy activities, such as recreational activities or sleepovers.
The organization approves respite care homes based on an assessment of the caregiver’s capacity to meet the child’s individualized needs, including:
- respite duration;
- the number and the needs of other children in the respite care home;
- ability to respect and support the child’s culture, race, religion, gender identity, and sexual orientation;
- relationship to the child;
- appropriate skills or training to provide therapeutic or medical care, when necessary; and
- sleeping accommodations appropriate to the child’s age, gender, and any special needs, when providing overnight respite.
Interpretation Regarding element (b), generally, the number of children in respite caregiver homes should not exceed five children in total and also should not contain more than:
- two children under age two;
- four children over age 13; and
- two foster children in treatment foster care.
Exceptions may be made for short-term stays, or to support connections to siblings or kin, depending on the respite caregiver’s capacity and experience, and the child’s safety or treatment plan.
- are familiarized with the child's daily routines, preferred foods and activities, and needed therapeutic or medical care;
- provide enriching activities appropriate to the child's interests, age, development, physical abilities, interpersonal characteristics, culture, and special needs; and
- work with resource parents to plan for children’s continued participation in any therapeutic, educational, or employment activities, when applicable.
Interpretation Organizations that do not provide respite care in their own resource family homes must ensure that relevant information about the child is communicated to the respite care program to ensure appropriate care, and monitor the child's and resource family's satisfaction with the respite caregiver.