5 Reasons to Become a Respite Care Provider in Wisconsin

Respite providers are a vital part of treatment foster care teams. In the general sense, respite is a break or period of rest in a busy schedule. Our respite providers care for children either in their home or the foster home. This allows foster parents to get the break they need to re-energize and continue to support kids successfully.

Family playing jenga

Foster parents use respite providers much like parents find babysitters for their children. We recognize that parents and children benefit from time away from each other to recharge.

We value our approved respite providers for their ability to provide a safe and welcoming space for foster children. Respite providers offer much needed breaks and support our foster care community in numerous ways.

Read below to see if being a respite provider is right for you!

1. You are passionate about foster care but don’t have time to be a foster parent full-time.

As  a respite provider you care for foster youth when it fits in your schedule. Individuals and couples are able to choose their availability for a respite opportunity. Families may need respite for anywhere from 1-30 days.  This commitment is flexible and meaningful. You may not spend 24 hours, 7 days a week with a child, but the time you spend with the child will add to their list of positive relationships. For our children who have experienced trauma, each encouraging interaction is an opportunity to find healing and safety in relationships.

2. You have an interest in being a positive role model for young people.

Our youth benefit from having a number of caring adults in their lives. From our perspective, the more the better. Going to respite can be an opportunity for a child to go to the home of another caring person and often gain perspective on their home life. Respite providers may be the listening ear a child needs, another source of insight or simply another consistent relationship of support.

3. You are looking to share your time and energy in a meaningful way with your community.

Respite is a perfect fit for someone who finds they have extra time in their schedule. We need respite providers for kids of all ages and at all times throughout the week. Foster parents may need a break if they become sick, go out of town, have a family emergency or the family may need space to regroup. Showing up for foster families to offer breaks is often what helps them stay together as a family.

4. You enjoy doing fun activities in the community and want to offer kids in foster care an opportunity to do the same.

Respite can be a time to share your hobbies and interests with a youth. We have respite providers who teach children how to golf or play a musical instrument. Others have children join them in making delicious family meals. Every new experience is a valuable growing opportunity for our kids. Our respite providers are also paid a daily rate to cover costs you may incur and pay you for the valuable services you’ll provide.

5. You are interested in becoming a foster parent and want to gain more experience.

Many great foster parents begin as respite providers. This is an easy way to meet foster youth and get the experience of working with our treatment teams. Our social workers and foster parents will be available to give you insight into supporting their child. Respite providers are also welcome to join in Family Works monthly trainings to receive more education and training specific to youth in care.

Learn about the process to become a respite provider  or reach out to one of our licensing specialists today!


Call us at 800-660-9204

Questions? To speak with a licensing specialist, please contact:


Southern Wisconsin:

Amanda Siefert

(608) 233-9204 ext. 232


Northern Wisconsin:

Kathi Kesan

(715) 532-3281