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Respite care is crucial for foster children and their carers – providing a supportive environment for one and a much-needed break for the other – however few people are aware of that need.

Respite Foster Carers provide children regular or occasional time with another trusted adult within their support network giving primary foster carers a meaningful break from their caring role.

They become another member of a child’s extended network. The length of care can vary from a day or a weekend, to a short break over school holidays, and can be provided in a long-term foster carer’s home or as an outing.

“Foster caring can come at a cost,” said Donna, one of AnglicareSA long-term foster carers. “I’ve given up work and all those adult conversations you get with the freedom of working. This is why respite is so important.

“Respite is a form of self-care and is as important as the care given to our young ones.

“Not only does it give us time to give one-on-one time to each child in our family, but also the opportunity to regroup and refresh so the level of care doesn’t waiver.

“These can be seen as sacrifices to our lifestyle and relationships, but we have the greatest support from our AnglicareSA care team and the Department for Child Protection, they’re always there making sure our support systems are nurtured.”

AnglicareSA Manager Northern Foster Care, Marsha Lynch said some people may not be in a position to provide care in their own home but want to help a child or young person by being a part of their village. 

“This (becoming a respite carer) can be a way for people who are interested in fostering but may not have the space to provide care in their home to become involved in fostering and be a part of a team that supports children in care” Marsha said.

AnglicareSA is one of South Australia’s leading foster care providers, but more respite carers are needed. If you are interested in find out more about becoming a carer, please visit