Respite Care

Are you a Foster Parent in Need of Time Off?

Respite care provides you with a temporary break, whether it is to address an unexpected emergency, care for a family member or take a quick trip. Respite also is necessary for reducing caregiver stress and promoting the stability of child placements.

As a DCS foster parent, you are eligible for two monthly paid days off while an approved and safe person cares for your foster children.

How It Works

  • Tell your Foster Parent Support worker of any respite plans for a custodial child. You may give your worker notice via email or by telephone, and when possible, prior to the respite occurring. Your FPS worker will notify the Family Service Worker of the respite by email or in person immediately.
  • A custodial child’s overnight stay with friends or foster parent relatives are made at the discretion of the foster parent and with reliance upon the prudent parenting protocol.
  • You are eligible, by policy, to receive up to two paid days of respite care per month, or a maximum of 24 days of respite per year that are built into the normal contracted daily board. So, for example, for a period of 30 days, two of those days can be used for respite. 
  •  If you arrange for respite care yourself, you are responsible for paying the caregiver.
  • Any respite requests that exceed the built-in allowance will be considered supplemental respite days and will require pre-authorization from the Regional Administrator. Supplemental respite could include: family death/medical emergency; expedited foster home emergency. These instances must be discussed with the FPS team for regional approval.

How to Arrange Supplemental Respite Care

  • Foster parents who wish to receive supplemental respite services must contact their FPS worker at least 7 days prior to the desired date of respite. Emergency exceptions may be made.
  • The FPS worker will either make arrangements for a supplemental respite provider or may accept the respite provider requested by the foster parent, provided the family is a verified, approved foster family.
  • The FPS worker will complete the required authorization form (CS-0656, Respite Authorization and Billing) and get approval from the Regional Administrator.  This form will be delivered to the authorized supplemental respite provider.
  • The supplemental provider must complete their portion of the billing section of CS-0656 and return it to the regional Placement Services Division staff person or FPS worker within 30 days of providing the respite service.

Supplemental Respite is paid at the rate of $25 per day, per child. There is no disruption to the foster parent contract due to respite care.

If You Foster through a Contract Agency

  • Contracted foster families, who have received respite through agencies, must adhere to the respite payment process outlined by their agency.
  • Contract agencies may set the rules, rates and limitations for respite, however, they too must receive permission for any respite that extends beyond 14 days.

Learn More

Feel free to review the state respite guidelines on supplemental respite care or call your Foster Parent Support worker.