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What is Respite Care?

When Children and young people ranging in age from 0-18 in our community are unable to live with their parents or family for their own safety or wellbeing, they need another family or person to live with and care for them. These people are known as Foster Carers.

What is Respite Care?

Respite care gives long term Foster Carers a short break particularly when they care for children with high needs. Respite carers usually have the children one or two weekends a month or for other short periods of time such as during the school holidays. Respite care is usually planned and scheduled well in advance but can sometimes be required at short notice.

What does it take to become a respite Carer?

Foster/respite carer;[1]

-        Are from any cultural background

-        Are over 18, with relevant life experience (some States require Foster Carers to be over 25 years). Upper age limits may apply for some types of care

-        Single; defacto, married or same sex couples; with or without children

-        Have a spare room in their home or apartment – they can be renters or owners

-        Are well and healthy and have the emotional capacity to deal with the challenges of foster caring

-        Everyone in the household needs to be an active and willing participant in fostering vulnerable children.

Raechel[2] has been a respite carer with Life Without Barriers since 2015 and currently provides respite for two foster children and their foster families. Raechel says “I just really want to reinforce that respite care can be a single male or female carer; and that busy professionals can contribute too! Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.”

It really is just about being willing to welcome a child or young person into your family and ensuring that you are committed to working with their team which includes their foster parents, LWB Care team and the Government Department to work towards better outcomes for the child or young person.

Financial assistance is available for respite care.

If you would like more information on respite care, please go to www.fostercare.lwb.org.au 


[1] Who can be a Foster Carer? » Change a Child's Life. (2018). Fostercare.lwb.org.au. Retrieved 18 January 2018, from http://fostercare.lwb.org.au/whatisfostercare/whocanfoster/

[2]Foster Carers' Stories » Change a Child's Life. (2018). Fostercare.lwb.org.au. Retrieved 18 January 2018, from http://fostercare.lwb.org.au/carer-stories/

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