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Posted on 12/27/2022

Recharge and Renew: Therapeutic Childcare and Respite for Exhausted Parents

Recharge and Renew: Therapeutic Childcare and Respite for Exhausted Parents

Parents need a break-respite and therapeutic childcare services can help!


No matter how resilient or patient you are, the reality is that every caregiver needs a break from time to time. The lack of sleep, long hours, mental exhaustion, constant demands, and relational dynamics between caregivers and other family members can snowball into dangerous levels of mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion. 

Our energy is like a bank account, and none of us can spend what we do not have. There are no energy credit cards or lines of energy credit we can charge to, and unlimited energy reservoirs do not exist. When your energy bank account is overdrawn, it is time for you to reinvest in your energy bank account so that your resources are replenished. 

Therapeutic Childcare can provide that reinvestment service so that you can get the respite you need in order to start spending again. A Respite Service is any form of childcare that provides an opportunity for the primary caregiver to experience therapeutic relief (or respite). All parents can benefit from Respite Services, and for many parents, Therapeutic Childcare is essential. 

Types of Therapeutic Care and Respite Services

The reality is that parents and children BOTH have legitimate needs that need to be cared for, and it is more than ok for caregivers to model self-care for their children by tending to their own needs. If you are a caregiver struggling with parental burnout, here are some Respite Services and Therapeutic Care options to explore. 

  1. Individual Care 

Caregivers are qualified people who provide one-on-one oversight care for your child onsite at your home or elsewhere for a set number of hours each day, week, or month. These caregivers could be family members, friends, or a professional nanny. This type of respite break could be a one to two hour break each week, and the purpose is to provide the caregiver time to decompress. Having even just a one to two hour break each week can greatly reduce high levels of stress. (Pro Parent 


Tip: Always interview caregivers and ensure they pass a background check.) 


2. Drop-Off Services

After-school programs, faith-based institutional activities, or community programs can provide qualified childcare for routine respite care. During this time, a caregiver might take a nap, meet up with a friend, meet with a counselor, engage in a hobby, or simply relax.

3. Therapeutic Camps

Some Respite Services such as Therapeutic Camps can provide extended Respite Services, even for children with special needs or extenuating circumstance. Whether your child has Autism, a learning disability, a physical disability, ADHD, a mental health concern, or health issue, there is likely a Therapeutic Camp that can provide half-day, full day, daily, weekly, or seasonal respite support.

4. Parent Support Groups 

Parent support and advocacy groups are a wonderful place for parents to connect with other parents and grow an emotional support community. For example, parent “co-ops” are community organized groups where families take turns caring for the other families’ children so the parents can take a break. 

 Find Therapeutic Childcare or Respite Services 

Whether or not your child has a disability, disorder, or special need if you as the caregiver feel that you and/or your family would benefit from you having a routine break, do not be afraid to seek out respite care. Balance is essential, and it is ok to ask for support. 

Many private organizations offer a variety of respite options.  With ARCH National Respite Network Respite Locator Service you can search by state to locate respite programs in your area.

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