27 November 2023

The importance of respite care for families in Essex and East London

The importance of respite care for families in Essex and East London

Overview: Exploring the importance of respite care, demand for foster carers and how much you get paid for respite foster care. Plus, a look at Essex fostering statistics. 

At Quality Foster Care, we call our respite foster carers short break carers. As a respite foster carer, you will provide families and other foster carers with essential short breaks. You might step in during times of crisis when a parent or carer is unwell and needs hospital care. Respite carers also offer support when other foster carers need to recharge and rest.

You might care for a child or young person in your home for up to 14 days. During this time, you will look after the child full-time and ensure their needs are met. Ideally, you will help the same children and families regularly. This allows you to get to know them and vice versa. As a regular short break carer, you can become part of a child’s routine, helping them to settle in your care. It also allows you to bond with the child and watch them grow. 

The critical role of respite care for families in Essex and East London

Respite carers play a significant role for families in Essex and East London. Children who need respite care may have additional needs or disabilities. They might have experienced trauma in their lives. By welcoming a child into your home for a short break, you can provide stability for fostering and allow primary caregivers to decompress.  

Is there a high demand for foster carers?

As a local and independent fostering agency that trains and supports foster carers across Essex and East London, we’ve seen already high demand for foster carers continue to grow. According to government statistics:

  • on 31 March 2022, there were 43,905 fostering households in England
  • 45% of all fostering places were within independent fostering agencies

We currently need foster carers for all types of fostering in this area. All our foster carers receive 14 days of paid respite to support them in their roles, and we value the respite carers within our community who provide this. Our enquiries team can answer in more detail any questions you may have about respite care and how it differs from other forms of fostering.

Fostering statistics for Essex

As a family-founded agency involved in fostering for three decades, we have a lot of knowledge about fostering in the Essex area. Our expertise and support for foster carers are also informed by our membership of Five Rivers Child Care, a social enterprise committed to transforming children’s and young people’s lives. Fostering statistics for Essex show the importance of fostering and, in particular, respite and short-break fostering within our region. 

  • Since 2002, we’ve worked with foster carer families across Essex and East London
  • As demand for foster carers increases, so does the need for high-quality respite care
  • According to the Fostering Network, over the course of each year 30,000 more children come into care with around the same number returning home
  • The Fostering Network estimates 7,200 more fostering families are needed in the UK with 771 new fostering households needed in London alone.

How much do you get paid for respite foster care UK? 

We don’t want finances to be the barrier that stops you from becoming a foster carer, so we offer a generous fostering allowance as part of our support and benefits package. As a respite carer working with us in the Essex and East London area, you can expect to receive upwards of £348 weekly per child (pro rata for stays shorter than one week). This amount increases if more than one child stays with you. If you have questions about the financial support available for respite foster care, please contact our team on 01268 919469

Respite foster care Essex – can you help?

Short-break carers provide a much-needed lifeline for families in your area. If you think you could help families in Essex and East London by providing short breaks as a respite carer, get in touch on 01268 919469.