The value of respite care for foster, adoptive and kinship kids
When it comes to respite care for foster, adoptive and kinship kids, the value cannot be overstated. Respite care provides a much-needed break for foster, adoptive and kinship parents, while also giving foster kids a chance to play and have fun.
Foster, adoptive and kinship kids often come from difficult backgrounds, and respite care can provide them with a much-needed sense of normalcy. It can also be a chance for them to bond with other children who are in the same situation. For many of the kids we serve, respite care is one of the few opportunities they have to just be kids.
Respite care can also be beneficial for adoptive and kinship parents. It gives them a chance to recharge, both physically and emotionally. And it can help prevent burnout, which is all too common among parents who take in foster children.
Respite care as respite for foster parents
Foster parents provide an invaluable service to children in need, but it is also important for them to take care of themselves. Respite care can help those caregivers keep going, even when they feel overwhelmed.
Respite care can take many different forms, from in-home care to overnight stays at a respite center. Whatever form it takes, respite care provides a much-needed break for these parents. Kids At Heart’s Fundango program has been providing respite care for over 20 years, and is one such program that can help caregivers avoid burnout and maintain their energy and enthusiasm for their important work.
If you are a foster, adoptive or kinship parent, don’t hesitate to reach out for respite care when you need it. It is an important part of self-care that can help you be the best possible foster parent for the children in your care.
The benefits of community for kids
In a world where so much can feel out of our control, it’s important to remember the power we have to create positive change in our communities. For kids who are in the foster system, who often face additional challenges and uncertainty in their lives, community-building can be an especially important way to feel connected and supported. One of the overlooked values of a program like Fundango, is that the kids who come, get a chance to play and build positive experiences with others kids in similar circumstances. They don’t have to worry about feeling “othered”, they can simply be kids!
Community-building can also help foster kids feel more connected to the adults in their lives. Building positive relationships with mentors, teachers, coaches and other supportive adults can provide foster kids with much-needed role models and support, in addition to the caregivers in their lives. As the circle of positive adults grows in the lives of these kids, so too will the kids grow in positive ways.