Part-time foster care, also known as respite care, is exactly what it sounds like. Opening your home for a couple of days at a time to a child in care. For the child in foster care, they get an opportunity to expand their network of support and usually have a whole lot of fun. Full-time foster carers get a chance to take a break and recharge.

Want to get a deeper insight into being a foster carer?

Get in touch via email or call 1300 663 298.

This is entirely up to you. Typically, a part-time or respite foster carer will care for the same child 2 nights a month or thereabout. If you would like to offer support more often, you might act as a part-time foster carer for more than one child.  

  • Stability and security: Seeing the same respite carer allows the child to build a familiar relationship with someone outside their primary home, reduce anxiety, and create a sense of safety.  
  • Trust and attachment: Consistent care allows the child to build a positive and trusting relationship with another adult figure. This can be crucial for their emotional development and wellbeing.  
  • A network of support: The more you get to know the child in your care, the better able you will be to support them through challenges and celebrate with them when they achieve milestones. 

There are also benefits for you connecting with the same child: 

  • Smoother transitions: The more you get to know the child, the easier it will be to fall into their routines and meet their needs. 
  • Less time preparing: This means you can spend less time setting up the day-to-day stuff and instead focus on the fun you’re going to have.   
  • Deeper relationships: Building this connection with a child means that you get to witness and share the joy of the milestones they meet. 

During the assessment phase, before you become a part-time foster carer, the Uniting WA team will get to know you through conversation and training. What we will be looking to understand is what are your strengths? What are you passionate about? What kind of child might you be best suited to? 

Our goal is to identify who will be best able to meet the needs of the child, because ultimately, the role of the foster carer is to meet the needs of the child. 

After your assessment and training, you’ll be introduced to the case worker who supports the child and full-time foster carer. It’s a collaborative process to organise visits to the part-time foster carer and their home.  

Uniting will support you and the full-time foster carer to develop a relationship. They are also on hand for any questions or concerns you might have. 

On top of your case worker, Uniting WA provides a 24-hour phone number for you to call at any time should you need support at the moment.

It is rare that a child will ever come into your care with less than a few weeks’ notice. 

We may call you to see if you have space for a child suddenly, but you are never obliged to take in a child if you do not feel comfortable.  

Foster care initial enquiry form.