respite foster care

Respite foster care

Respite foster care provides a short break for other foster parents, giving them the chance to rest and recover from their fostering role.

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What is respite foster care?

Respite foster care provides a short break for other foster parents. This kind of placement is planned in advance and can be a day or two at the weekend, or up to a couple of weeks.

Our foster parents receive up to two weeks respite every year, where one of our respite carers looks after the children in their care. Wherever possible, we'll arrange for the child to stay with the same respite carer who they've already built a positive, trusting relationship with, so even when they're living away from their foster home, they still have that all-important stability.

Respite is carefully planned around the child's need and generally takes place at weekends or during school holidays. Though respite fostering is available to all foster parents, it’s especially valuable to people who look after children with disabilities, special educational needs or behavioural challenges. The idea is to provide a safe loving home for the child – ideally with people they know –  so they don’t experience too much disruption. This change of scene can also be good for the child’s learning experience.

respite fostering

Benefits of respite foster care for you

One of the key benefits is that you can become a foster parent without having to commit to a child in your care around-the-clock, knowing you’re making a valuable difference – not just to the child, but also to their foster parents.

As you’ll usually live locally and offer regular support, you’ll build long-term relationships with the children you’re looking after. Also, as you’ll know when you’ll be needed well in advance, you’ll be able to plan around your life. In addition, respite foster carers receive all the support and training that’s available to all of our foster parents, so you can gain new specialist skills and experience along the way.

respite fostering pay uk

Respite fostering pay

You’ll receive a generous respite fostering allowance while a child is in your care, designed to recognise your professionalism and commitment.

Respite foster care payments cover the cost of caring for a child or young person while providing you with a professional fee so that you can dedicate your time to fulfilling the needs of children in care, rather than seeking additional employment - although, some may still wish to work and foster.

Plus, you'll have access to our rewards platform where you can find hundreds of discounts to some of your favourite shops, restaurants and family experiences.

Fostering allowance

Are you suited to respite fostering?

To specialise in respite fostering/short break fostering, you’ll need all the skills and qualities all foster parents need, together with the ability to provide care at weekends and for periods of up to two weeks at a time. It’s ideal for people who have other commitments and can’t become full-time foster parent but are flexible.

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Other types of fostering

emergency foster care


This type of fostering provides care to a vulnerable child in an emergency, such as domestic violence.

Find out more

Short-term foster care - foster parent with looked after children


Short-term fostering can range from a single night to a few years, depending on the child's and family's needs.

Find out more

fostering disabled child

Disability fostering

There are many children and young people with disabilities who require specialist foster care.

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Fostering teenagers


There are many teenagers in care who need unconditional love and support during this critical stage of their life. 

Find out more

Speak to our team

Whether you’re ready to start your journey or just want to chat to an expert, we're here to talk.

Please make sure you read our terms and conditions because you're agreeing to them by submitting an enquiry. It's also worth reading our privacy policy and cookies policy so you understand how we collect and use your personal data.

Ready to start your fostering journey?

By phone

One of our team is available to talk to you over the phone to answer any of your fostering queries.

0800 369 8513

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We have local teams covering most of England. Find your local office today.

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