At my internship today, I learned about respite care. I hadn’t really heard much about what it is or had any experience with it before today. From what I learned tonight about it, respite care is temporary care of dependant elderly, ill, handicapped, or children with challenges. Children can go to a foster home or a group home for respite care when the parents/caregivers need a break from the daily challenges of taking care of a child with challenges and behaviors. They go short term and are taken care of. When the group home I’m doing my internship at has open beds from children going to home visits on the weekends or have been reunited with their families/caregivers, they do respite care for other children. Children come there and stay the weekend until they go back home.
The group home had had a child come for the weekend earlier that day so I was able to learn more about what takes place with respite care and the procedures that go along with it. I was able to read the background on the child and was kind of amazed on the amount of information they had on the child. It was a very small packet, maybe 5 pages, of information on why he was in the state’s care and his medical record. That’s about it, which was shocking due to how much information the group home has on all the other children there.
I could tell right away after arriving that the child was having a very difficult time with the adjustment being there. I seen him throwing things at staff, punching things, and trying to escape out of the front door. He was yelling, screaming, and swearing at everyone. The staff there was very understanding but stayed firm about the boundaries and rules that had to be in place. They tried to calm him down by playing a board game with him, talking about his hobbies, and trying to get to know him. The child was not having it. He had started to warm up just a little bit but then, he started to fly off the wall again. When the other children got there after school, it only got worse and escalated. No matter how crazy things got, the staff remained calm and firm like the children need them to be in that type of environment. It was kind of refreshing in a way when the staff got pumpkins thrown at them, got kicked and punched, and got yelled and screamed at beyond belief, they stood their ground while remaining calm. It really helps the children when they do that because they know someone is there for them that cares but can also keep the structure, respect, and everything in check while they are there.
I had to leave early but I learned a lot of new information that can help me in going into this career field. I’m so happy to have this experience and can’t wait to see what else I will learn.