The Need for Respite Services

Families’ responses demonstrate a significant need for more respite services and for respite to be available more consistently. If prospective foster and adoptive parents are aware of respite services available to them, and if they can trust that those services will be consistently available after placement, they may feel more able to meet the complex needs of children in foster care — many of whom have experienced trauma and have special needs.

Research shows:

  • Respite reduces the risk of maltreatment and risk of an out-of-home placement
  • Achieve statistically significant reductions in reported stress levels of caregivers and improvements in the quality of their relationships
  • Improve caregivers’ positive attitude toward their children
  • Improve family functioning
  • Help caregivers meet their children’s special needs
  • Improve relationships between parents and children
  • Decrease the risk of child abuse
  • Prevent placement disruptions
  • Increase families’ ability to provide care at home for children with disabilities


This information was provided by AdoptUSKids three year study on Creating and Sustaining Effective Respite Services. You can read the full report by clicking the link below.

Read Full Report