Vol. 15, No. 1 November 2010
10 Ways Social Workers Can Support Foster Parents Around Visitation
- Keep foster parents abreast of any changes; have an ongoing discussion about visiting.
- Facilitate pre-placement visits between the child and foster family whenever possible.
- Tell foster families what kinds of behaviors they can expect to see on the part of birth parents and children before, during, and after a visit.
- Involve foster parents in meetings with the biological family and providers (shared parenting).
- Ensure foster families receive ongoing education, particularly about the reasons for and effects of visitation.
- Facilitate peer support by connecting foster families to each other, particularly through local and state foster parent associations.
- Discuss with foster families how they will handle any visit-related problems, and make sure they know you are open and available to discuss any issues or concerns they have.
- Avoid overcomplicating visitation for foster families by placing too many children from different families or too many children with special needs in one home.
- Involve foster families in the planning of the visit schedule; always keep the family’s schedule and needs in mind when planning visit times and locations.
- Encourage and appreciate foster parents for their efforts to support visitation and to work with birth parents.
Copyright © 2010 Jordan Institute for Families