Saturday, February 15, 2014

Respite Binder for Foster Care

One of the most popular posts on this blog is the Foster Care Binder to keep track of all the documentation that goes along with fostering. I have adapted it to a Documentation Binder for those children who have been adopted or birth children with special needs.  But what about those respite situations where you only have a placement for a short time but still want to keep track of things?  I made a Respite Binder this weekend with our first Respite Placement, this includes only the forms that would be needed or useful for a short placement.

I arranged my respite binder in a 1 inch binder with 3 sections Current Placement, Past Placements, Blank Forms.

The "Respite Packet" includes a basic information sheet, notes sheet, medication/mileage log, Incident Report, and Clothing Inventory.

Basic Information Sheet:  Includes Child, Caseworker, and Foster Parent's contact information as well as the reason for and dates of respite.  It also has space for any notes you may have.

Medication/Mileage Log:  This is a shortened version of the full forms available in the Foster Care Binder.  You can keep track of any medication administered as well as mileage for any travel that is reimbursed by your agency.

Incident Report:  I have included an Incident Report if needed for any minor (or major) injuries that may happen while the child is in your care for respite. (Edited to add:  This form includes a spot for pictures, if you don't use this form I highly recommend you take a photo of any injury or even a photo showing there were no visible marks from the injury to have for your records or to send to caseworker).

Clothing Inventory: With multiple kids in the house and short respite visits, Id hate to forget to send something back that came with the child.  I print this Clothing inventory by changing the print settings on my computer to two pages per sheet.  I then print two copies, one for clothing in and one for clothing out.

Here is a link to the forms I've included in my Binder:
Respite Forms

In addition to these forms I keep a copy of any information provided to me.  Once respite has been completed I staple all the documents together in the corner and move them to the Past Placements section.

What else do you think is important to keep track of for Respite Placements?


  1. Have you ever had one of your placements go to a respite placement? If so, I would be interested in knowing what type of information you send with them to the respite family? :)

    1. Working on it! I haven't used respite yet, but Ill be putting something together in case I need to!

    2. Hi Karen, I see you posted a question 2 years ago but I just found this blog now... We were adoptive placement and our child's social worker have us his passport number so we got the court order to approve a trip and booked our hotel and flights. This would have been the child's first trip over the boarder but luckily not first family vacation. A week before the trip, the social worker was unable to locate the actual passport. So a trip turned into respite for one of our 4 kids. It was hard..... We sent copies of all documents with him, as well as information sheet with doctors, dentists, babysitters he was familiar with, our family friends he knows that agreed to get him for a visit to a library and walk in the park. We sent a bag of his clothes, his fave stuffed animal, few fave bedtime story books, and a present for him to open, from us, each day we were gone (token presents and one piece of a puzzle each day, so he visually saw how much time was left before we got back to get him). We also included his daily schedule, just so that the respite foster family understood what he was used to, and his favourite things and dislikes (he hates pancakes, imagine that!). And a thank you letter to the respite parents, together with our itinerary and contact information - just in case. The respite family we got was amazing. They Skyped with us every evening so we could read the bedtime story to our child. The family really went above what we expected and we later provided respite for their daughter...

      The second time, we needed respite when my husband had a car accident. Because we have a bunch of kiddos and we had no time to prepare, the same foster parent actually stayed in our home with our friend (who isn't a foster parent). The respite parent had less info on our children but we have since been keeping a list of preferences for each child, updated weekly, and their schedules. Both on Google Docs, so we can share them with people, if needed (hopefully we never need them, tho).

  2. As a respite provider, it's always handy to know feeding/sleep schedules (for little ones), known triggers, and bedtime routines. This is a great idea!

  3. As a respite provider, it's always handy to know feeding/sleep schedules (for little ones), known triggers, and bedtime routines. This is a great idea!


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