Respite Care

What is Respite Care?

All parents need time to rest and recharge from providing ongoing daily care to a child. Many parents can call a babysitter or have the kids visit grandparents and other family members when they are needing some time to themselves. However, this isn’t always an option for foster parents. This is where respite care can be a valuable resource to individuals and families that are playing a critical role in the healing and guidance of foster children.

Respite care provides short-term aid, typically in the evenings or on weekends, for a child living with a foster, adoptive or kinship family. It’s a unique opportunity to bond with children in foster care by offering quality time and activities that help the child continue to thrive.

Respite can be an opportunity for foster parents to focus on self-care or other life events, and can help reduce stress and tensions. This short break helps maintain a healthy relationship between the foster child and the foster family.

Learn about becoming a KVC respite care provider!

How Does Respite Care Work?

If you are approved to provide care, foster families can reach out to you in times of need. You can provide a much-needed break to a licensed foster or adoptive parent daily, overnight or on a weekly basis. This care may be planned or used in emergency situations.

Providers will receive a stipend to cover the costs of providing these helpful services. There is also family-to-family respite where foster parents help each other and work out respite amongst themselves. Respite care providers can create their own schedules and decide if placement works for them each time they are contacted.

Before deciding to become a respite provider, ask yourself if you are willing and able to:

  • Protect and nurture children
  • Work as a member of a professional team
  • Follow rules and guidelines
  • Demonstrate positive and effective parenting skills
  • Help with unexpected emotional, medical, and/or behavioral problems in children

If you consider yourself to have these qualities and more, you would be a great candidate for providing respite care.

For more information, complete this form. You can also check out this Respite Care Provider Handbook from the Missouri Department of Social Services.

What is the Approval Process? 

The first step in the approval process is to complete an approved respite training program, which KVC Missouri provides for free. While you go through training, a licensing specialist will help you complete the required paperwork and prepare you to become an approved provider.

View KVC Missouri training classes here.

The required paperwork includes background checking, various policies, and gathering information about you to allow the licensing specialist to complete a residence study. Respite care applicants are required to be fingerprinted and have criminal checks in addition to other record checks before becoming a provider.

More specifics about the approval process can be found at this link.

Want to Become a Respite Care Provider?

Providing respite care is a great way to support your community and can be a helpful place for you to start if you want to see if foster parenting is right for you.

There is a statewide shortage of respite care providers for children of all ages and in need of all levels of care, especially for older youth and sibling groups.

To learn more about becoming a respite care provider, complete this form and one of our KVC team members will get in touch to answer your questions and talk through the process.


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