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Who benefits from respite care (short-term fostering) services?

Here at Sanctuary Care, we provide respite ( short-term foster) care for children whose families are temporarily unable to support them. The aim is to keep the child safe and secure in the interim period and help the biological parents get back to a position where they can take care of their child once again.

We typically help:

Parents sentenced to a jail term

In cases where the parents are sentenced to a short-term jail sentence of below three months and there are no suitable family members to look after the child during that period, Sanctuary Care will place the child in a respite care (short-term foster home). Our social workers will also follow up with the family once they are reunited to ensure that conditions at home are safe for the child and that the parents are able to integrate back into society.

Families made temporarily homeless

On the rare occasions where families find themselves temporarily homeless because they have lost their home through not being able to make the mortgage or rent payments, Sanctuary Care can step in too help. Our first priority is to provide shelter for the child in a respite carer's home while social workers work with the family and HDB to find alternative accommodation for the family. The end goal will be to empower the parents to find employment that pays a salary that will support a mortgage so that the family can buy and maintain their own flat.

Teen mothers

Teenage mothers that have no support from their parents typically find it difficult and stressful to adjust to bringing up their own child on their own. Having to juggle often a low-paying job and afford suitable childcare can be seemingly impossible. At Sanctuary Care we help these mothers better prepare to support their child. We offer free respite (short-term foster) care for the child as the teen mother attends classes to achieve higher grades so that they can secure a job that will allow then to support their child in the long term.

Bereaved parent

The loss of a spouse can have a devastating effect on the surviving partner and naturally they need to take some time to grieve and deal with the loss. The stress is worse when the deceased spouse was the main bread winner and the family will need to adjust to living on a lower family income. The surviving partner may need to retrain to eventually earn a higher salary. Sanctuary Care will find a respite (short-term foster) home for the child while the surviving partner adjusts to their new reality.

Although we would love to provide respite (foster) care for as many children in need as we can, we simply do not have the required resources. Therefore, we only provide care for children in the age range of new-born to eight years where existing extended family members are unable to provide the necessary support. We provide respite (foster) care for these children from as short as five hours to up to three months.

The cases we help must meet the following criteria:

1. Both parents and extended family network are unable to care for the child for a short period of time.

2. A long-term care plan for the child must be clearly identified and a clear timeframe for the placement must be stated.

3. Intermittent respite (foster) placement must not run longer than a period of one year – though exceptions may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

4. The family must be engaged with community support who can assist them long-term if necessary.

5. The parent must commit to having regular contact with the child and must work closely with Sanctuary Care Staff in order to ensure the child can return to their care in a planned and timely manner.

Sanctuary Care does not take on cases of child abuse and neglect as these are complicated long-term cases. Please refer such cases to MSF Child Protective Services at 1800-777-0000.

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