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Questions for the Foster Family as a Respite Provider

When a foster family requests respite care through their agency, the agency will call YOU (the respite care provider) to find out if you're able to keep the family's child(ren) for the dates they have requested. You'll ask the agency some questions too, and you can find those questions HERE.

foster family

Once you say "yes" to the agency, you'll be able to talk with the foster family directly.

There are two desired outcomes (in my opinion) when speaking with a foster family ahead of a respite placement:

One: You're going to be excited to learn more about the child and how you can best support them, but be respectful of the foster parents' time. Foster parents live full lives. Don't overwhelm them with unnecessary questions! The desired outcome is a relatively short, yet informational conversation.

Two: You want the foster parent to leave your conversation feeling confident that you're going to take great care of their child(ren). They should breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that you really care about providing a positive experience for their family.

Here are the questions you can ask the foster family prior to a respite foster care placement. We'll call the child in care "Lucy."

  1. Can you confirm the dates the dates Lucy will be with me? (You'll get the dates from the agency, but confirm with the foster parent in case the agency makes a mistake.)

  2. Will Lucy have any appointments or visits while you're away? (You'll ask the agency this also, but ask the foster parent in case something popped up since you last spoke with the agency.)

  3. Does Lucy have specific routines that I can continue for her at my house?

  4. What does Lucy like to do?

  5. What is Lucy's favorite food?

  6. Does Lucy have any strong dislikes?

  7. What is the most effective means of correction for Lucy? (think "time in" or a good behavior chart or temporarily taking away a toy)

  8. Are there specific items or situations that you've noticed are triggering for Lucy, that I can try to avoid?

  9. Are you working with Lucy on any specific skills or habits that I can assist with?

  • Examples for older kiddos could be: getting them outside, limiting screentime, helping them explore hobbies / interests, etc.

  • Examples for younger kiddos could be: potty training, incorporating more fruits / veggies in their diet, learning ABC's or how to spell their name, etc.

Last but certainly not least, ask if there is anything else you can do to support them. They may have a specific need you can help with - and even if not, this question helps them feel like they've got someone in their corner!

Now it's time to prepare for your respite weekend! I'll have a post with some preparation ideas coming soon. Follow @respitefostermom on Instagram to be notified of its release!

Emily | Respite Foster Mom


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