New Placements - Questions Foster Parents Should Ask

This is such a great list, one that I didn't have when I first became a foster parent, so I wanted to share it with my readers. Thanks to the Foster Care and Adoptive Association of Oklahoma for providing it. A lot of workers, will most likely NOT know the answers to all of these questions, but hopefully they can get you contact info for someone who does. 


Why is this child being placed?

What is the previous placement experience(s) of the child?

What is the child's legal status?

What is the family situation?

What is the plan for the child? Expected length of placement? (most probably will not know the answer to these questions upon initial placement)

What will my role as foster parent be in the reunification plan? (Should always be to support reunification in every way possible if adoptive placement, ask about mediated agreement visitation/contact with birth family)

What is the child's understanding of why he has been moved/separated from his birth parents and/or prior placement?

Will there be a pre-placement visit? (Usually not if coming directly from the birth home).

Where are the birth parents & possible relative/kinship placements?

Give me a clear understanding of the rights of the child's birth parents and the plan for visitation. Who may visit? Who may not visit? Where does visiting take place? When? How often? Who transports? (Usually 1 visit/week supervised by a CPS staff member at a CPS office)

Have the birth parents been dangerous or threatening in the past?

Have the birth parents made complaints against other foster parents? I f so, what was the complaint?

Has the child made complaints against other foster parents? If so, what was the complaint?

Are there brothers and sisters? If so, where are they and what is the visitation plan, or plan to reunify them while in care?

Is the child in good health? Allergies, immunizations, dental care? What are the plans for current and immediate future medical and dental care? When was the last physical? Are there any food, medication, or animal/general allergies?

Is the child taking any medications at this time? Will there be written instructions regarding them?

School - What grade? Prior School Name/Address? School problems? Achievement level and/or any special problems? Enrolled in Special Ed or other special classes (GT, Speech, Alternative Education Setting)?

Does the child have any special behavior problems, unusual habits, or dangerous propensities? Ask about fear of animals if you have them in or around your home.

What will make the child feel most at home? What are the child's food likes and dislikes? Favorite toys, sleep habits, etc.

Religious affiliation? Is it important? Does foster parent need to make special arrangements to have child attend services, education classes, etc?

Does the child qualify for a special care rate? If so, when is the effective date?

Does the child have adequate clothing? Will there be a clothing allowance? If so, when can foster parent expect to receive the clothing allowance check? Ask the placement worker for details. Save all receipts for reimbursement up to the current limit.

What are your (placement worker) expectations of me (foster parent)?

What is the name and phone number of the supervisor of the unit overseeing the child?

Who is the attorney/CASA/GAL for the child? Name & Phone numbers.

What do I do and who do I call in case of a weekend or evening emergency? (BIG one if you don't have any thing that shows medical coverage for child)

When will I receive the following placement information? Medical Consent Form, Medicaid Card Placement Agreement Form (must include name of social worker, supervisor, payment rate, effective date, case number, and signatures.)

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