Foster Parent Responsibilities


As a foster parent you have many responsibilities to a number of individuals: the child placed in your home, the agency, the child's biological family, the team and your own family.

Your goal as a foster parent is to provide skilled care, discipline and nurturing for any child placed in your home, while serious problems are addressed through treatment interventions. You must operate as a parent, a behavior management specialist, a mentor, a guide, a protector, a team member, an advocate, a teacher, a mentor of families, and as a caregiver. This is a big role. We have broken your tasks down to the following:

Tasks and Responsibilities


  • Meet the child's basic need for food, clothing and shelter.
  • Provide adequate personal space for the child with a separate bed and place to store their belongings.
  • Feed the child nourishing meals on a regular basis.
  • Regularly check the child's clothing needs and keep the child well clothed year round.
  • Provide for the child's personal care, health and hygiene needs.
  • See that the child is clean and well-groomed. Teach personal hygiene methods when necessary.
  • Transport the child to all medical, dental and health appointments. Assure the child's medical and dental health needs are regularly checked and met.
  • Provide adequate supervision on a 24-hour basis. (If you are not present to supervise it is your responsibility to make sure the child is being supervised by an approved adult.)
  • Assure that the child follows a healthy, structured daily routine.
  • Provide opportunities for the child to get regular and sufficient exercise.
  • Administer all prescribed medications as directed. If problems or symptoms develop, contact medical assistance and/or staff immediately. Do NOT make a decision to discontinue medication without a doctor's approval.


  • Provide fair and equal treatment for all children in your home.
  • Transport the child to all counseling appointments, assessments, testing and medical management appointments.
  • Include the child in all family activities.
  • Provide fair and equal treatment for all children in your home.
  • Express affection often. Demonstrate affection in appropriate, healthy ways.
  • Say positive things about the child to others, or in their hearing.
  • Understand and care about the child's feelings.
  • Avoid hurtful, sarcastic comments. Do not criticize the child in front of others.
  • Listen non-judgmentally to child's feelings.
  • Take pride in how the child looks and presents themselves to others.
  • Seek to establish supportive relationship with child's biological family.
  • Never speak negatively about child's family or history. Listen and empathize, but do not judge.
  • Model effective ways of expressing powerful feelings.
  • Help children advance through the grieving and adjustment process that accompanies removal from their home and placement.
  • Provide recreational and enrichment activities that will promote the health development of a positive self-esteem.
  • Respect confidentiality of the child.


  • Enroll the child in school.
  • Provide for daily attendance at school.
  • Provide a quiet physical space for the child to complete school assignments.
  • Monitor the child's educational progress.
  • Transport the child to any educational evaluations.
  • Communicate with teachers, guidance counselors and administrators to ensure your child is participating and cooperating with the school.
  • Attend any after school meetings required.
  • Provide access to after school activities, sports, etc.
  • Provide for necessary equipment and funding to participate in custodian/team approved activities.


  • Encourages the child's involvement in social and recreational activities.
  • Provides transportation, equipment and funding to engage in custodian/team approved activities.
  • Encourage the child to develop hobbies, skills, talents, and personal interests.
  • Applaud their achievements.


  • Provide consistent and realistic discipline and guidance that is age appropriate and does not involve corporal punishment.
  • Teach the child effective social interaction skills.
  • Teach the child how to respond in difficult situations.
  • Teach problem-solving skills.
  • Observe, count and record behaviors as requested by clinicians.
  • Use effective praise techniques to encourage positive behavior.
  • Teach negotiation skills to the child. Demonstrate these skills at all times of conflict between you and the child.
  • Teach the child effective time management and how to be responsible for their own lives.
  • Teach effective anger management skills. Reinforce those taught by the agency. Demonstrate these skills at all times of conflict.
  • Document behaviors effectively.


  • Attend all agency/team meetings and participate fully.
  • Provide adequate information regarding the child's progress, behaviors at home and school to the agency/team.
  • Notify the agency or on-call worker immediately in all emergencies.
  • Transport child to activities, meetings, appointments, etc.
  • Submit all requested documentation in a timely manner.
  • Discuss important status changes in your family with the agency (such as job change, separations, divorce, illness, financial stability, etc.).
  • Participate in planing for the child--permanency, treatment, options, etc.
  • Implement suggested behavior management plans from professional therapists, social workers, etc.
  • Cooperate and support other agency/team members' roles and responsibilities.
  • Communicate effectively with all agency/team members so child does not split authorities in his/her life.
  • Adhere to agency/team policies and procedures.
  • Effectively use emergency procedures and on-call procedures.
  • Recognize when you need help or support and request this support from the agency or team.
  • Notify the agency/team of any vacation or holiday plans. Allow adequate time for custodial approval and preparation.
  • Meet all training requirements. Identify to the agency/team where you feel you need additional training and support.
  • Attend support group meetings.


  • Provide a supportive, non-judgmental attitude of respect at all times.
  • Work with the biological family as an extension of their family rather than an alternative to the family.
  • Model effective discipline techniques.
  • Model professional team behavior.
  • Model effective negotiating, conflict management and anger management skills.
  • Be willing to listen to their story, needs.
  • Cooperate fully with phone calls and visitations as prescribed by the team.
  • Respect confidentiality of the family.
  • Provide information, pictures, school data, report cards, medical records, etc. to the family.



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