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
Tasks and Responsibilities
CHILD'S PHYSICAL NEEDS:
- 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
- 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
- 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
CHILD'S EMOTIONAL AND NURTURING NEEDS:
- 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
- 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
- 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.
CHILD'S EDUCATIONAL NEEDS:
- Enroll the child in school.
- Provide for daily attendance at school.
- Provide a quiet physical space for the child to complete school
- 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
CHILD'S RECREATIONAL NEEDS:
- Encourages the child's involvement in social and recreational activities.
- Provides transportation, equipment and funding to engage in custodian/team
- Encourage the child to develop hobbies, skills, talents, and personal
- 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.
WORKING WITH THE AGENCY/TEAM:
- 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,
- Participate in planing for the child--permanency, treatment, options,
- 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.
WORKING WITH THE BIOLOGICAL FAMILY:
- Provide a supportive, non-judgmental attitude of respect at all
- 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
- Be willing to listen to their story, needs.
- Cooperate fully with phone calls and visitations as prescribed by
- Respect confidentiality of the family.
- Provide information, pictures, school data, report cards, medical
records, etc. to the family.