Everything You Need to Know About Becoming a Respite Foster Parent

Everything You Need to Know About Becoming a Respite Foster Parent

relief foster parent playing jenga at table with foster child

Being a foster parent can be deeply meaningful. Connecting with young people and providing them with a safe and supportive home is a fulfilling calling. But even the most dedicated foster parents need moments to rest and recharge. That’s where respite foster parents step in, offering a vital break that nurtures parents and kids alike.

In this post, we’ll define respite foster care and tell you everything you need to know to become a respite foster parent in Oregon through Foster Plus. We’ll also share the inspiring story of one family making a difference in the lives of young people by providing respite care.

What Is Respite Foster Care?

When researching respite foster care, you may come across a few different terms. Some organizations refer to respite care providers as “resource parents.” At Foster Plus, we like to use the terms “relief care” and “relief parent.” Despite these differences, all of these terms generally refer to the same thing: providing care for foster kids on a temporary basis so that foster parents can take a well-deserved breather. 

Because each state manages its own foster care system, the rules, requirements, and resources for respite foster care will vary from state to state. Here in Oregon, the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) manages foster care at the state level, and they have a clear set of guidelines for becoming a resource parent.

But this isn’t your only option if you’re interested in providing respite foster care. Nonprofit agencies can give you the opportunity to become a relief parent while providing additional resources and support. To give you a better picture, here’s what being a relief parent with Foster Plus looks like.

How Relief Care Works at Foster Plus

Qualifications to Become a Resource Parent

Foster Plus is an effort of 11 nonprofit social service agencies collaborating to connect kids in need with the support and stability of committed, caring foster families — and relief parents! When you first reach out to us, we’ll connect you with one of our partner agencies in your area and make sure you meet the following basic requirements:

  • At least 21 years old
  • Can pass a background check
  • Can demonstrate financial independence (families cannot be dependent upon the foster care stipend)
  • Complete orientation and pre-certification training and maintain certification through continued education and training
  • Reliable transportation
  • At least one driver over the age of 21 with a valid Oregon driver’s license
  • Separate bedroom with a door and a window for the foster kid placed in your home


Local agencies may have additional requirements beyond this list. We can provide more information when you contact us.

Specialized Training to Help You Feel Prepared

As stated in the list above, all relief care families go through a certification process that includes training to make sure you’re ready to address the specific needs of the young person in your home. Foster Plus agencies train relief care families to use evidence-based practices like Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) and Treatment Foster Care Oregon (TFCO) that help build skills in supporting youth.

Ongoing Access to a Support Team

Many of the kids we work with have experienced trauma or otherwise have higher needs. While this might seem a bit daunting, you aren’t on your own when you become a relief parent. You’ll have 24/7 access to case managers, counselors, and other support staff who can help if any issues arise. You are encouraged to reach out to your support team at any time.

Financial Compensation

Foster Plus agencies provide relief parents with a stipend starting at $45/day. The stipend varies among agencies and is based on the needs of each kid. It’s used to cover costs such as food, transportation, and activities.

Flexible Scheduling

As a relief parent, you can provide support as few or as many days that work with your life and schedule. Staff at your local foster agency will coordinate with you to determine when you are available and to set up times to provide relief care.

Heidi and Atanacio’s Story

Even with all of the information we just shared, it can still be hard to truly envision what your life could look like as a relief parent. That’s why we’re excited to share the inspiring story of Heidi and Atanacio’s journey as relief parents. Watch the video below to see how they’re providing a loving, welcoming home to foster kids.

Become a Relief Parent Today

Relief care is an amazing way to make a difference in a young person’s life but with a lower level of commitment than being a full-time foster parent. If you want to learn more about what it takes to become a relief parent, contact us by visiting We’d love to connect you with a local agency and answer any questions you might have.

Table of Contents

Recent Posts

Subscribe to our newsletter.

© 2023 Foster Plus
Privacy Policy

Our Initiative

Foster Plus is an effort of nonprofit social service agencies collaborating to connect kids in need with the support and stability of committed, caring foster families.

Contact Us

Foster Plus toll free number:

Send us a message