For parents of children with special needs, respite care is a vital service. It can give all kinds of parents (biological, adoptive, and foster) a break and provide much needed rest.
If you are thinking of using respite care:
- Contact a respite care provider. Do this far in advance in order to set up a respite family. Two weeks is usually enough notice. To help locate a respite care provider, use Access to Respite Care and Help (ARCH) National Respite Network and Resource Center’s website.
- Meet the respite provider in advance. Doing this prior to the days of care can decrease stress on the children.
- Make a Respite Packet. This includes special information about your child, such as likes, dislikes, medications, appointments, or special instructions.
- Be sure to include enough clean clothes for the time your child will be with the respite family. This includes diapers and wipes for children who need them. Also, packing a familiar toy or stuffed animal may help your child adjust.