What is Respite Care?

If you are considering foster care, respite care may be a great way to get started. People who are approved to provide respite care temporarily help with children in foster care, offering relief to foster parents who need time to themselves or have an emergency situation. Respite care providers have a unique opportunity to bond with children in foster care by offering quality time and activities that help the child continue to thrive.

How does respite care work?

If you are approved to provide respite care, foster families will know that they can reach out to you in times of need. You can provide respite care to a licensed foster or adoptive parent daily, overnight, or on a weekly basis. By providing respite care, you will be caring for a foster child for at least 6 hours.

Respite care is not the same as babysitting. Respite care may be planned in advanced or used in emergency situations, and the ultimate goal is always to support health and stability for foster families and children in foster care.

Getting Started

If you would like to become a respite care provider in Missouri, you will need to:


Contact Us

  • Contact the Children's Division at 800-554-2222 or by email at MoHeartGallery@raisethefuture.org, to set up a time to meet with us
  • We will discuss what respite care is, the types of care, and answer any questions you may have





Renewal Process

After you are an approved respite care provider, you will need to go through a renewal process every 2 years.