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Respite Policy for Time Limited and Permanent Carers


Standard 21, National Minimum Standards 2011 - Supervision and Support of Foster Carers


  1. Standards and Introduction
  2. Respite

1. Standards and Introduction

National Minimum Standards (2011), Standard 21 states:

21.1 The fostering service supports their foster carers to ensure they provide foster children with care that reasonably meets those children’s needs, takes the children’s wishes and feelings into account, actively promotes individual care and supports the children’s safety, health, enjoyment, education and preparation for the future.
21.2 The fostering service ensures foster carers understand the nature and level of support which will be provided to them by the fostering service.
21.3 There is an effective out of hours advice and support service for foster carers.
21.4 Peer support, foster care associations and/or self help groups for foster carers are encouraged and supported.
21.5 Foster carers are provided with breaks from caring as appropriate. These are planned to take account of the needs of any children placed.
21.6 All foster carers have access to adequate social work and other professional support, information and advice, to enable them to provide consistent, high quality care to the child. This includes assistance with dealing with relevant services, such as health and education. Consideration is given to any help or support needed by the sons and daughters of foster carers.
21.7 The role of the supervising social worker is clear both to the worker and the foster carer.

Peterborough City Council Fostering Services recognises that some carers will require additional support through the provision of respite care and other community based resources to promote stable and secure placements.

Many "Looked After Children" demonstrate a range of behaviours that can threaten the stability of, or lead to the disruption of foster placements. In birth families there is often the opportunity for children to have short breaks with members of the extended family. This is more difficult where children are "looked after", as often children cannot be cared for by extended family members and friends of foster carers.

Where respite care is provided it should be primarily considered to be in the best interest of the child. The following outcomes should be the motivating factor for requesting respite:

  • It is likely to increase the stability of the placement;
  • It will enable the carers to provide continuity of care;
  • It will provide the child with further opportunities which will improve their life chances.

2. Respite

Requests for respite care should be made via PASP and based upon the principles above. When respite is agreed, arrangements should be reviewed at least every six months.