If you are thinking about becoming a foster parent but are not yet comfortable with the commitment of seven days a week, 24 hours a day, consider becoming an alternative care provider or respite care provider.
Focus on Youth, Inc. considers foster parents to be a valuable, precious resource. Statistics prove that taking periodic breaks helps prevent foster parent "burnout," which, in turn, helps stabilize the child's placement and decrease disruptions. By providing alternative care or respite care, foster parent(s) can have a planned break. Alternative care or respite care also supports the foster home in case of a foster family emergency such as a medical emergency or death in the family.
Alternative care is similar to babysitting services for youth in foster care and can last either a few hours or a few days. Respite care is defined as alternative care provided for a child placed in a treatment foster home that lasts more than 24 consecutive hours. The requirements and process for you to be approved to provide alternaitve care or respite care are quite similar to those of foster parenting; however, because respite care is for youth who live ina specialized foster home, there are additional requirements to become a respite care provider.
Basic requirements for both Alternative Care and Respite Care
- Complete an Application.
- Complete both state and national criminal background checks through fingerprinting (this involves a fee paid by the alternative/respite caregiver).*
- Local and County Crime Checks.*
- A valid Driver's License (if transporting children) or state ID.*
- Proof of Insurance.*
- Bureau of Motor Vehicles Check for safe driving records (no more than 5 points to be cleared for transporting youth).*
- Brief Safety Audit when respite is done in your home.
- Interview by an agency social worker.
- "Required Notification" - a signed acknowledgement that you and each household member 12 years old and up have no criminal record and you will notify us if you are ever charged with a crime, even if you are innocent.*
- Pet Vaccination Form.*
* Asterisk indicates must be updated at least every year.
Please note: If you are providing care in your home, each adult household member (18 years of age and older) must also complete all criminal background checks.
Additional Requirements for Respite Providers
- 12 hours of Respite Training provided through Focus on Youth, Inc.
Contact us soon to get you started as an alternative care/respite provider!
It's a great way to learn more about foster care and adoption.