Vol. 15, No. 1 • November 2010

10 Ways Social Workers Can Support Foster Parents Around Visitation

  1. Keep foster parents abreast of any changes; have an ongoing discussion about visiting.
  2. Facilitate pre-placement visits between the child and foster family whenever possible.
  3. 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.
  4. Involve foster parents in meetings with the biological family and providers (shared parenting).
  5. Ensure foster families receive ongoing education, particularly about the reasons for and effects of visitation.
  6. Facilitate peer support by connecting foster families to each other, particularly through local and state foster parent associations.
  7. 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.
  8. Avoid overcomplicating visitation for foster families by placing too many children from different families or too many children with special needs in one home.
  9. 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.
  10. Encourage and appreciate foster parents for their efforts to support visitation and to work with birth parents.

Copyright 2010 Jordan Institute for Families