We were at church marriage camp last weekend and they promoted their new respite parenting program. Around here it takes really a lot from CPS to take the kids. By law they have to try every possible service first. And there are not enough respite parents, so usually if you become respite parent, you likely will get a kid that is in verge of being taken into the care. Not only does it mean that situation with kids tend to be very problematic, it often also means, that kid you have gotten to know, will be looking for foster home in few months and you will be asked. We have absolutely no interest of becoming foster parents so even though we have often read from papers that there is shortage of respite families and thought it could be something we could do, we haven't been interested. And it would also be emotionally very difficult to be a respite parent for the kid you feel is not being taken adequate care at home. I can't imagine how it would feel to take kid back to home after the visit if I would feel that home was abusive to the kid. But because the system through CPS is clearly not working for it's intended purpose of providing families with no or little support networks and challenging situations a much needed respite to help them manage, our church is having this new community service there they pay the education of respite parents and help match families needing respite (and not being in as dire situations than those CPS tries to find respite homes) to ordinary families wanting to do respite parenting in it's original purpose. More or less providing help grandparents usually provide for those who don't have grandparents around. It would be one weekend and one or two weekday evenings a month. Training is the same CPS gives for new respite or foster parents and CPS has to approve both respite family and family getting help, but costs are paid by church and they try to find respite parents. I and husband sincerly hope we will not become grandparents in about ten more years, but we would have time, opportunity and even some experience of special needs we could offer to help some young family with little support network and draining life situation. Next class will be arranged in August and we are thinking if it would be something we would like to do. Does anyone here have experiences of this in any side of the fence?