Respite Care, A Much-Needed Service For Foster Families

Terrilyn & Kevin Lassair, Intensive Services Foster Parents

Seneca Family of Agencies

"Fostering, it is difficult but so is parenting. At the end of the day, all you're doing is parenting a youth in need with the help of a team. If you feel like you have room in your heart or in your home to help a child in need, go for it. It could be the right thing for you and you don't know how many lives you can reach and improve, because the need is great. There are too many children in care throughout California, so having an additional home is very helpful." - Seneca Family of Agencies

This candid, inspiring story captures the temporary fostering experiences of Terrilyn and Kevin Lassair who are currently providing short-term respite care for transitional age youth Laura Tate, with the support of Seneca Family of Agencies’ Intensive Services Program. They share how Seneca’s one-on-one support and guidance have helped them give Laura the permanency and sense of belonging she needs. Seneca Family of Agencies helps foster parents set their families up for success. The goals of the Intensive Services Program are to reduce youth’s involvement in the juvenile justice system, help stabilize youth in the community and enhance youth and families’ support networks by linking them with community resources. The length of service averages 6 to 12 months and is provided multiple times a week, depending on each family’s needs. Services are provided at locations and times that are most convenient for families, including evenings and weekends.

Learn More About Fostering & Respite Care

Respite care or “short-term” care is when one foster family, like the Lassair family, temporarily cares for a family’s foster children. It gives the children’s original foster family a bit of a break for some much-needed restorative personal time or they may have other obligations that take them away for a period of time. It also gives the foster children a break, giving them a chance to spend a weekend with other foster children; children they can relate to. Respite care usually takes place over a weekend, and it rarely lasts more than two weeks. You can choose when you’re available to take in children so the schedule can be very flexible. If you’ve been thinking about fostering but you’re nervous about it, providing respite foster care at first may be a way to test the waters. Visit our Get Involved page to learn more.

Why Not You?

It only takes one caring adult to make a difference in the life of a foster youth. Find out how you can get involved at

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