Becoming a
Respite Provider

What Is Respite Care?

Respite care is care provided to a foster or adopted child for a short period of time by someone other than the primary caregivers (i.e. foster parents, adoptive parents, or kinship parents). Respite care gives foster, adoptive, and kinship parents and children the chance to have short, regular periods of time apart in which they can rest and recharge.

What Is Respite Care?

Respite Care – What’s that?

Respite Care is short-term or long-term care that strengthens the quality of life for traumatized children in foster care & adoption. Day-to-day care for abused and neglected children is exhausting at times. Respite allows for a break to rejuvivante with his or her spouse, connect with a friend or take a short nap. CMFCAA believes providing short-term and long-term respite will prevent disruption and promote family resilience. Respite care also prevents caregivers from experiencing compassion fatigue and burnout. It’s not only the caretakers that are provided relief but the children who experience respite take a break from court visits, doctors visits, supervised family visits, forensic interviews, etc. The children are given permission to play, connect with peers and be a kid again. Respite promotes healing for our kids and molds the brain to be receptive to positive and healthy adults.

How do you Qualify?

You must be 21 years old, pass a CAN report (Child Abuse & Neglect) and a background screening. You must also have a home assessment (walk-through) completed. To get specific training qualifications please visit: http://dss.mo.gov/cd/fostercare/pdf/missouri-respite-care-training.pdf

Smash the Myths!

You don’t have to be married, have kids or have money flowing out your ears to be a respite provider. In fact, you can have no kids or be a caretaker to several kids. Respite care is open to people in our community of all walks of life, race, creed and origin. CMFCAA wants to connect you to the kids and families we serve. Look at respite like “dipping” your toe in to this big thing called “Foster Care.” Let us know if you have questions. CMFCAA is here to help!

Length of Respite Care:

Resource providers (foster and adoptive) are able to choose from a varied time lengths. For example, if there is a funeral in another state then several days may be needed. On the other hand, if it’s an Anniversary date it may be less than 24 hours.

Where do you go to provide Respite Care?

Respite care can be done through an in-home setting or an out-of-home setting. In-home is the residence of the foster adoptive family and out-of-home is typically your home. This type of respite care is called “traditional” respite. CMFCAA also has “untraditional” respite care. Those are monthly an are in partnership with a local business; such as the YMCA or the Activities & Recreation Center. Those are themed events, paid by CMFCAA and provide 3-4 hours of respite to kinship/relative, foster and adoptive children. Look at our event calendar to get details. You can sign up there, as well. First come, first serve.

How does the Scheduling work for Respite Care?

When foster/adoptive/kinship parents are in need of respite care, they call CMFCAA and give us information about the kids in need of care, when care is needed, etc. We then match their request with appropriate respite providers on our referral list. Next we call the potential respite providers with information about the care needed, and if the respite provider is interested, he/she calls the foster/adoptive parents directly to arrange care.

I Am A Foster Or Adoptive Parent In Need of Respite Care. How do I get connected?

Foster Parents can call CMFCAA and we will make it a priority to connect you to a respite provider.
For adoptive parents, first make sure this service is listed in your subsidy contract. If it’s not- call us and we’ll assist in helping you amend your child’s adoption contract to include the respite subsidy. After this has been complete CMFCAA can assist in finding a respite provider.

Does the Respite Provider get to choose whom to respite?

Totally! We want you to be comfortable in providing care for the kids we serve. You have full control over your respite placement decisions. When a family needs assistance, we will call you and see if you have availability for the specific needs regarding the respite request. You can say yes or no. It’s always up to you!

Respite Care Benefits

MO DSS reimburses respite providers at a rate of $20 per day for foster children residing in Level A foster care and $40 per day for foster children residing in Level B. Foster children are all eligible for paid respite care. Adoptive families must have respite built into their subsidy contract. Foster parents will fill out a respite form and disimenate that information to their caseworker for provider reimbursement. Adopted children are a bit different. The rate is around $20/day and is written into the adoption contract. Adoptive parent pays respite providers directly for respite services. The adoptive parent then submits a form to Children’s Division for reimbursement.

**Please note that CMFCAA’s respite program is a referral program only. Children’s Division is responsible for payment to respite providers. All question’s regarding payment will need to go through Children’s Division.

What’s the Turnaround on Becoming a Licensed Respite Provider?

Depends on you. The quicker you get the paperwork turned in and a home assessment and background complete–the quicker you can become licensed. The typical turnaround is 30-90 days.

What’s the Importance of Respite Care for Adopted Kids?

Most understand the relevance for respite care regarding kids in foster care. However, questions still remain why adopted children need respite care. They are in “Forever Families” that are with them for the long haul, right? Well, yes. Of course! However, just because the adoption papers are signed and the judge hit the gavel doesn’t mean challenges, barriers and behaviors have miraculously disappeared. Also, the exhaustion and frustrations are still there for the adoptive parents caring for the abuse and/or neglected child. Missouri understand the need for post-adoption services and the stability these services offer to lifetime commitments. Respite is one of the top services offered in Missouri adoption contracts. We will advocate for this to remain a critical service for Missouri’s adoptive families

Here’s the Process of Respite Care:

Have you decided to “dip your toe” in? We are here to help with referring you to training classes and respite licensing agencies. In addition, staff at CMFCAA will walk-through the intake and completion of your respite application. It’s our concierge service- just for you!

My Home isn’t Big Enough or Doesn’t Meet Safety Standards. Can I still help?

Absolutely! There’s a myriad of reasons why space and safety may hinder potential respite providers from completing their license. But-don’t give up! We have options. You can always do the respite care in-home (at the foster or adoptive home) or CMFCAA has monthly respite events that you can get involved in. Just call us; take a background check and we can get you included with our monthly respite events.

View the Respite Provider Home Checklist