Contacting Alternative Care Provider

When contacting the alternate care provider make sure to clarify the drop off and pick up dates. Confusion and stress occur, for both the alternative care provider and the foster family, if arrival and departures times and dates are incorrectly communicated.

During your first phone contact, don't forget to mention any appointments or visits, to the alternate care provider. It would be extremely unfair to spring this information on them at the last minute.

If they are unable to make these appointments, you may choose to look for another provider, or speak with your social worker on rescheduling the appointments.

If conflicting schedules mean that visits may be missed, it's in the birth family's best interest if another provider is searched out. If this is impossible, again, contact your social worker on rescheduling immediately. Visits are the heart of the reunification process

Packing for Overnight Stay:

When packing for your foster children, be sure to include enough clean clothes. Don't forget extra underwear and socks. For infants and toddlers too many diapers and wipes are better than not enough. It would not be fair if the respite provider had to go purchase more items because they were not given a sufficient supply to get through the weekend.

Have the children pick out a special toy or stuffed animal to help them at bed time. Putting together a small scrapbook might also help. The type you can slip pictures and photos into would be easiest to prepare. Include photos of birth family, foster family, friends and pets.

Creating an Info Packet for Alternative Care Provider:

Consider making a respite packet. This is something you only have to make once. You could use a large zip lock bag. Type or clearly write a list of needed information. Include

  • the children's full names

  • birth dates

  • your name and numbers

  • the social worker's name and number, Dr.'s name and number

  • an emergency contact number for where you can be reached during the respite period.

It is also helpful to have a list of the daily schedule, fears, likes and dislikes of the children. This is especially helpful for babies and toddlers.

Make sure to note any allergies, and of course, any appointments scheduled during this respite period.

The packet also should include the child's health insurance information and "consent to treat" paperwork.

Write out instructions for any medication, and include a medicine log so the respite provider can document when the medication was given. It's also helpful to add a copy of the child's latest physical.

When you need respite, you only have to add medication to the packet, update appointment information (if any) and the kids are ready to go. This packet also comes in handy when going to doctor or dental visits as all needed paperwork is ready.

Preparation is the key to a great respite weekend. You can come back to the children relaxed and ready to get back to work serving your community, providing homes for children and helping families heal.

As a Resource Parent (RP), you are required to abide by the Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard [see ILS Section 88201 (r)(1) and 88487.13] and shall consider the following:

The age, maturity, and developmental level of a child.

The nature and inherent risks of harm of the activity.

The best interests of a child based on information known by the Resource Family (RF).

The behavioral history of a child and the child’s ability to safely participate in the activity.

The importance of encouraging a child’s emotional and developmental growth, which may include, but not be limited to, the following: (1) The child’s level of understanding about healthy relationships. (2) The child’s level of understanding about sexuality and body development. (3) Feelings about spirituality. (4) Other stages of maturity experienced during adolescence.

The importance of providing a child with a sense of normalcy in the most family-like living experience possible.

Information provided or known about a child including the history, behavioral tendencies, mental and physical health, medications, abilities and limitations, sexual orientation, gender identity, developmental level of, and court orders for the child. [A Resource Family may contact the child’s social worker, physician, counselor, or educator to obtain this information.]

A Resource Family may arrange for other care/supervision unless prohibited by the child’s social worker, probation officer, or court order [see ILS Section 88487.13]


Allowed occasionally and for less than 24 hours.

May be under 18 years of age, but must have maturity, experience and ability to provide adequate care.

If watching children at the sitter’s home, the home must be safe and appropriate.

Sitter knows how to contact Resource Family in case of emergency.

Resource Family shall review the emergency procedures with sitter.


Background check not required (effective 1/1/19) unless they’re an adult residing/regularly present in the Resource Family Home (RFH).

Allowed occasionally. May be longer than 24 hours, but approval is required if to exceed 72 hours.

Must be 18+ years or older.

Must have the willingness and ability to provide care and supervision, taking into account all developmental and behavior issues.

Caregiver must be appropriate.

If providing care in their home, the caregiver’s home must be safe and appropriate.

RF shall provide verbal or written notification to Children’s Hope and the county social worker (CSW) or probation officer as follows:

Dates they’ll be gone

All contact information for the caregiver

Emergency numbers for RP

RP to provide caregiver with the following information:

Information on the emotional, behavioral, medical or physical conditions of child

Any medication they need to assist with as permitted by the Health & Safety Code

24-Hour contact information for Children’s Hope and the county social worker or probation officer

RF shall review the emergency procedures with caregiver


Not allowed for routine, ongoing child care.

Must be approved by Children’s Hope and the county or probation.

Must be an approved relative, non-relative extended family member (NREFM), a Certified Foster Home (CFH), or RFH.


Allowed occasionally. The child must be over 10 years, but a RP shall not leave a child unsupervised overnight.

Must have approval from CHFFA by way of signatures from the Children’s Hope social worker and the CSW, and an agreement with the child(ren) of the responsibilities and consequences. These will all be a part of the Appraisal Needs and Services Plan (LIC625).

Before leaving, RP is to ensure that the child knows the following:

Where emergency numbers are posted

Emergency procedures

Where and how to contact RF I/We certify that I/we have read and understand Care and Supervision as outline herein, and as presented to me/us.