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.
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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