Welcome back to Taylor Talks!
I want to talk about something called "respite care" and how it differs from foster care. My mom and I happened to be talking about this just a few minutes ago, and I thought that it would be helpful to write about here.
As I have clearly stated through this blog, my family does foster care. This means that we take in children when their biological parents have not taken care of them, whether they have abused them in some way or neglected them. Children have stayed with us for an average of a year, but have stayed with us anywhere from a weekend or a few weeks (when they are going to be transferred to the care of extended family) to about two years.
There is something called respite care that also goes through the foster care system. This is when foster parents can have their foster children brought to another home for a weekend or so, when they need a break from the kids. Yes, you read that correctly... when foster parents tire of taking care of these children, they can opt to put them in respite care for a short period of time. Or when they want to go on family vacation, without their foster children, they can have them placed in respite care. It's completely insane, and something that my parents would never even think of doing, but it is a program that really exists.
People who open their homes for respite care often just say that they do foster care, but the two programs are completely different. For example, my parents have taken in nineteen children over the past eighteen years. However, a woman who I saw posting something on Facebook said that she had taken in one hundred children over the same period of time. She says that she does foster care, but there is no way that someone could take in an average of five children a year through the foster care system. The system moves at too slow of a pace for that to be possible. This woman must take in foster children for respite care, which is something completely different.
While I think it's insane that anyone would want to get rid of their children for a few days by placing them with another family, I do commend people for doing the respite care. Clearly there is a need for it, even if it's ridiculous.
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My family has been doing foster care since I was three years old. I'm the only biological child in my family, though I now have five permanent siblings. Having nineteen siblings over the course of my lifetime has been an incredible experience, and I'm hoping that by sharing some of the ups and downs of being the only bio kid in a foster family, other foster families or people looking into doing foster care will be able to learn a bit of what life can be like. I also like to share what life is like on my journey to becoming a published author, as well as where my schooling and career choice are taking me.