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Department of Children and Families
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Policy Manual
TREATMENT
Foster Care

36-55-1.5
Guidelines for Services: Foster Parents’ Role and Responsibilities

Role/Responsi-bility Foster parents play a key role in the system of providing services to children who must live away from their family of origin when that family cannot provide a positive environment or meet the special needs of the children.

The role of the foster parents is to

  • provide the foster child with a safe and healthy environment in a family home, on a temporary basis, until the child can be reunited with his/her family, be placed in another permanent setting, or moved into independent living.

Note: In some cases, the permanency goal may be long term foster care or adoption by the foster family.

  • be partners with the child’s Social Worker
  • be members of the child’s treatment team
  • share with the Department in the development and implementation of a service plan to meet the child’s needs.

In this role, the foster parents have responsibilities to

  • their own family
  • the foster child
  • the foster child’s family of origin
  • the Department.

Cross-References:

41-2, "Introduction to Foster and Adoption Services"

48-14-3, "The Foster Family Considered as Adoptive Applicants"

48-14-4, "Foster Parent Adoption"

Foster Parent and Social Worker Partnership The foster parents and child’s Social Worker are partners in carrying out the plans of the treatment team so that the child receives the full spectrum of appropriate services.

Each is responsible for sharing information regarding the suitability and benefits of the support and services in place or needed for the child.

The worker shall maintain the legal authority on behalf of the Department and shall obtain and arrange payment for essential special services.

 Foster Parents as Part of Treatment Team Foster parents are part of the child’s treatment team which includes the DCF Social Worker and supervisory staff, birth parents, educational, medical, and mental health professionals and the child’s attorney.

Team members are involved with the development of the child’s service plan and the scheduled administrative case reviews of the treatment and permanency issues for the child. The expertise and focus of each team member ensures that each of the child’s needs will receive its merited attention.

The foster parent’s perspective on the child’s adjustment to daily life is critical to the development and review of the service plan.

Responsibility to Foster Family Members The decision to foster parent is life-changing and deserves the involvement of the entire foster family. The foster parents shall
  • allow the participation of all family members in the decision to provide foster care to a child
  • support every family member as his/her position and role within the family structure changes with the placement and removal of each foster child
  • provide a time and place to afford all family members, including the foster parents, an opportunity to express and discuss feelings throughout the foster care experience
  • support the feelings of birth and adopted children as they grow and develop.
Responsibility to Foster Child The foster parents shall
  • provide corrective life experiences in a safe, nurturing and stable family environment, free from abuse and/or neglect, where the child is respected, valued and accepted
  • provide role modeling which encourages attachment in the family so that the child can learn to form the productive relationships needed to function appropriately in society
  • provide guidance to the child which promotes self-esteem, respect, and growth
  • allow the child to express anxiety, fear, and conflicted loyalty
  • accept the child as a real and equal part of the family
  • make known to the child the house rules, responsibilities, and consequences
  • accept the heritage, culture and language of the child and the birth family
  • acknowledge the importance of the birth family
  • promote and support a positive, non-judgmental relationship between the child and birth family
  • support and facilitate visits for the child with the birth family and siblings
  • understand the child’s problems and help him/her with solutions
  • help the child understand the reasons for the placement
  • save mementos and photographs for the child
  • prepare the child for transition to the birth family, another permanent home, another placement or independent living.
Responsibility to Birth Family Foster parents shall
  • accept, cooperate with, and support arrangements made for the birth family and the child to have contact, including visits and correspondence
  • promote and support a positive non-judgmental relationship between the child and the birth family
  • provide appropriate modeling for the birth parents and family
  • encourage dialogue with the birth family about the visits and the child.
Responsibility to the Department The foster parents shall
  • maintain licensing/approval standards and requirements
  • comply with Department regulations
  • work with the Department in developing, implementing, and reviewing the child’s service plans
  • maintain confidentiality in all matters pertaining to the child and the birth family
  • arrange and provide transportation for routine medical and dental care
  • allow visits between the child and the birth family and siblings in the foster home unless it is not in the best interest of the child or foster family
  • seek permission from the Department for out-of-state travel and certain medical procedures
  • meet post-licensing training requirements
  • participate in the court process relating to the child, if requested
  • notify the Department of any over payments
  • give advance notice when requesting the removal of the child except in situations where the well-being of the child or the foster family is threatened.

Connecticut Department of Children and Families         Effective Date: December 20, 2001  (Revised)