My husband Peter and I do weekend and occasional school-holiday respite. We provide respite care on a regular basis for one boy, Samuel, and provide occasional respite for other children. Normally they arrive on Friday at an agreed time and get picked up again on Sunday afternoon.
We do what most families would do on the weekends - there's no pressure to be out spending lots of money on activities. During the summer we often take our lunch to the beach and spend the day swimming, sitting and playing on the beach. We might go shopping locally and go to the library, go bike riding or we might just stay home.
A day in the life of a respite carer
I think that Samuel being involved with our normal routine and feeling valued is the most important aspect of respite care.
Samuel arrived and put his things in his room then we started cooking dinner while we talked about what he had been up to since the last time he was here.
My husband worked in the morning so Samuel and I did some craft and then took the dogs for a walk to the park. In the evening we made our own popcorn and had a home movie night.
We got up early to go and see the chimpanzees at Monarto Zoo.
On the way home we stopped at Mount Barker so that I could get some material. Peter and Sam went to the car wash and then the pet shop and met up with me at the shops.
We went home and Sam helped pack up his clothes to head off home. He was picked up late afternoon - we said our good-byes and look forward to the next time he comes.
For privacy reasons, the name of the child in this story has been changed.
Foster Care Services
Telephone: 1300 2 FOSTER (1300 2 367 837)