Respite care for children

Respite care provides a series of pre-planned short term placements for a particular child with the same carer. The length and timing of the arrangements can vary according to the specific needs of the child and their family.

Why children may need respite care

The respite carer scheme has been established for the benefit of the children and their families. For children to be placed within the scheme, there has often been some family crisis or problem for which they need some support or assistance. This includes a family illness, the parents finding the child's behaviour very difficult to handle or the parent not coping.

Respite care offers a break or a series of breaks that could act to prevent a family breakdown or the child being placed in foster care.

Arrangements for care

Respite care can be arranged on a one off or regular basis. It can also be arranged for short periods of time, such as a few hours or for longer stays of a week or more. Respite care is usually arranged on a planned basis, but it may be arranged quickly in an emergency situation.

Page last updated: 18 September 2017