Respite Services

The County of San Diego Child Welfare Services (CWS) values our collaborative partnership with Resource Families and recognizes both the importance of providing supportive services and the unique needs of Resource Families.  We understand that the role of the caregiver can be challenging and that supportive services are vital to success.

Respite care provides the opportunity for caregivers to take time away from the pressures of parenting in order to recharge their batteries, allowing them to return to their child or family feeling refreshed and ready to continue the journey with a renewed sense of purpose.

Having access to respite services is an essential component of supporting placement stability for our foster youth.

The CWS Respite Program provides respite hours for resource/foster parents who have foster children placed in their care:  Ages 0-17. 

General Public please contact 211 San Diego for community respite resources:

Answers to frequently asked questions:

  • Resource parents are eligible for 34 hours of respite each month
  • Requests for respite in excess of the 34 hours, require approval of the Respite Program Chief
  • Respite services can be accessed by contacting the CWS respite Coordination Team at, Peggy Ruefer at (858) 285-7437, Natasha Garcia at (858) 285-7438, Hiyab Tesfu at (619) 768-8549, Oliver Cabana at (858) 790-4466, or by clicking this link: Respite Services
  • Emergency Respite must be requested with as much notice as possible, preferably 24 hours at minimum
  • Respite care can enable the family caregiver(s) to:
    • Reduce stress by being able to run errands in a much more expedient fashion
    • Reduce stress by allowing some “me” time or “down” time to re-energize
    • Maintain their physical health by allowing regular visits with their own physician
    • Maintain their mental/emotional health by taking time to attend support groups


Updates and Reminders

Updates and Reminders (En Espanol)

Becoming a Respite Provider