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Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Our daughter goes into respite care once a month for 2 nights - This is at a Foster Carers house, living locally to us, arranged via Social Services. Dates for respite are given to us, in advance, and we have no input as to what the dates will be.

The latest respite care has been this weekend, from Friday to Noon today.

Whilst our daughter is in placement, we have always asked for a phone call to be made to us on the first evening of the placement, just for re-assurance that she has been picked up from school is Ok and is not upset etc. This weekend no phone call was received on Friday night. I left a message on the foster carers callminder service at 10PM on Friday night and again at 1PM yesterday (Saturday) as we have not received any communication from the FC.

We finally received a phone call back at 2PM yesterday to re-assure us everything was OK. We were told that everthing was Ok and that if there was a problem the Foster Carer would have let us know. She stated she had not rung as 'there were no problems' and she 'had been busy'.

Moving forward to Noon today (Sunday) our daughter was brought back to us by the Foster Carers husband. This is unusual, in that our daughter is always brought back by both the Foster Carer and her husband. He had also forgot to bring the book that we sign for the agreed hours. To be honest the Guy could not get away from us quickly enough and could only answer my questions, with shes been happy and played well.

My daughter has severe communicaion problems and is unable to tell us anything about the weekend.

My question is does anyone else receive respite care for their child and what happens with feedback whilst the child is in placement? Do people receive feedback and is receipt of a phone call reasonable. We received little information today on what our daughter has done this weekend,other than she has been Ok and player happily.

Also, whilst I am on the subject, we have recently been asked for permission which we have given for our daughter to attend with the Foster Carer whilst in placement, a Church concert for approx 3 hours which the foster Carers child was in and last night (Saturday) a party/wedding reception - We are not exactly sure what the event was to be honest. This we have agreed to on the grounds of us not being seen as being Unreasonable. Thoughts on this area are also appreciated, as our only activity request made from us, was for our daughter to attend a Special Needs Trampoline group she attends, whilst she was in placement. We were told the activity would have to be fully Risk Assessed and we backed down on or request..

I would appreceite any replies.
She takes part in the normal life of the family whilst there: that's probably reasonable as long as agreed in advance that the activities are appropriate and would interest her.
Poor record keeping: firmly insist that records are kept and hours signed off. Hours are the same as money: both need to be accounted for.
But I also think you have every right to expect progress calls to be made promptly as agreed, and I would put in a swift and polite request that this is strictly kept to in future.
my son has respite, he used to go to someone in the community, as well as to a hostel type . i have never had the communication that you are looking for he started respite at 12 year old he is now 37 he has no speach at all, severe learning disibilities,severe epilepsy, and N>E>A>D. [he induces seizures himself]slight phyisical problems.at the age of 17 he stopped going to the carers and he now only gets the hostel type one, which is very good, and when there is a problem they phone me, but only when there isa problem.

myra Image
Hi Chinarosie,

many years ago, I used to do shared care - which meant I used to give respite care to children with special needs in my own home as a shared care carer - this came under the bracket of fostering and was supervised by social services. As a general rule the parents used to drop the children off and we would have a chat when they did so and I would take the child home and fill the parents in on how the visit had gone. I used to plan activities that I thought the child would like and often took photos which I gave the parents copies of. As far as I can remember none of the parents requested regular phone calls, but I used to ring the parents the first few visits myself to let them know their child was happy and asleep etc I don't think a phone call to let you know all is ok should be a problem.

As for the trampolining sessions - the group should have their own risk assessments which should suffice; and I don't see why your child shouldn't be able to go whilst at respite. The whole point of having respite close to home is so that the child is in their own community and accessing the activities that they usually do. If you feel uncomfortable pushing for this, you could enquire about an advocate for our child who would be able to tackle this on your child's behalf.

A little boy in my class has he same sort of respite and his carers write a diary for his parents, which enables him Mum to be able to talk to him about what he did over the weekend.

The lack of choice about the dates of respite I suspect is not something you can change.