Foster Parent Bill of Rights

Foster Parent bill of Rights:

  1. A clear understanding of their role while providing care and the roles of the Birth parent(S) and the placement agency in respect to the child in care.
  2. Respect, consideration, trust and value as a family who is making an important contribution to the agency’s objectives.
  3. Notification of benchmarks that will be required of the foster parent such as appointments, home visits with department personnel, visitations of the child at school and meetings between department personnel and the child’s family.
  4. Advance notice of information regarding scheduled meetings other than meetings where the department of child protection services personnel or social workers are going to the foster parent’s home for site visits, appointments and court hearings concerning the foster child.
  5. The opportunity to communicate with professionals who work with the foster child including therapists, physicians and teachers who work directly with the child.
  6. The opportunity to communicate and collaborate, without threat of reprisal, with a department representative when further educational services are needed to ensure the child’s educational needs are met, including services such as an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP), tutoring, occupational therapy, speech therapy and after school programs.
  7. The opportunity to attend all IEP meetings, along with the department worker, at the child’s school as long as the child is in custody and receiving special educational services.
  8. The opportunity to communicate with the foster child’s guardian ad litem.
  9. The opportunity to attend all youth court hearings involving a foster child occurring while that child is placed in their care without being a party to the youth court action, unless the youth court determines that any foster parent should not be present. Foster parents may attend all youth court hearings and have legal counsel attend and observe with them if the child’s permanent plan is adoption by the foster parents unless the youth court determines that any foster parent should not be present. Foster parents may communicate with the guardian ad litem in writing at any time. Foster parents may ask to be heard concerning the best interest of the child at any disposition or permanency hearing.
  10. When the dates of the permanency hearing and permanency review hearing have been set by the youth court, and if necessary to fulfill the notice requirements, the judge or the judge’s designee shall order the clerk of the youth court to issue a summons to the foster parents to appear personally at the hearing as provided by Section 43-21-501.
  11. The opportunity to request from the youth court permission to communicate with the child’s birth family, previous foster parents of the child, and prospective and finalized adoptive parents of the child, without the threat of reprisal. However, this right creates no obligation of the birth family, previous foster parents, or prospective and finalized adoptive parents to communicate in return.
  12. Involvement in all the agency’s crucial decisions regarding the child as team members who have pertinent information based on their day to day knowledge of the child in care and involvement in planning, including, but not limited to, indivisible service planning meetings, foster care review, individual educational planning meetings, and medical appointments.
  13. The opportunity to participate in the planning of visitations between the child and the child’s siblings, parents or former guardians or other biological family members which have been previously authorized by the youth court. Visitations shall be scheduled at a time and place meetings the needs of the child, the biological family, and the foster family. Recognizing that visitations with family members is an important right of children in foster care, foster parents shall be reliable and cooperative with regard to family visits but shall retain the right to reasonable advance notice of all scheduled visitations.
  14. The ability to communicate with department personnel or representatives twenty four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week, for the purpose of aiding the foster parent.
  15. A comprehensive list of all resources available to the foster parent and child, including dental providers, medical providers, respite workers in the area, day cares, and methods for submitting reimbursements.
  16. Support from the family protection worker or the family protection specialist in efforts to do a better day to day job in caring for the child and in working to achieve the agency’s objectives for the child and birth family through provision of:
    1. A copy of the “Foster child Information form” and all other pertinent information about the child and the birth family, including medical, dental, behavioral health history, psychological information, educational status, cultural and family background, and other issues relevant to the child which are known to the department at the time the child is placed in foster care prior to the child’s placement with a foster parent or parents. The department shall make reasonable efforts to gather and provide all additional current medical, dental, behavioral, educational and psychological information reasonably available from the child’s services providers with fifteen (15) days of placement. When the department learns of such information after fifteen (15) days of placement, the department shall communicate such information to the foster parent as soon as practicable.
    2. An explanation of the plan for placement of the child in foster parent’s home and the ongoing and timely communication of any necessary information which is relevant to the care of the child, including any changes in the case plan.
    3. Help in using appropriate resources to meet the child’s needs, including counseling or other services for victims of commercial sexual exploitation or human trafficking.
    4. Direct interviews between the family protection worker or specialist and the child, previously discussed and understood by the foster parents.
    5. Information regarding whether the child experienced commercial sexual exploitation or human trafficking.
    6. Information related to the healthy, hunger-free kids act of 2010. Foster parents shall protect the confidentiality of the child by working directly with a designated school official to complete the application for free lunches.
  17. The opportunity to develop confidence in making day to day decisions in regard to the child.
  18. The opportunity to learn and grow in their vocation through planned education in caring for the child.
  19. The opportunity to be heard regarding agency practices that they may question.
  20. Information related to all costs eligible for reimbursement, including:
    1. Reimbursement for costs of the child’s care in the form of a board payment based on the age of the child as prescribed in Section 43-15-17 unless the relative is exempt from foster care training and chooses to exercise the exemption, and
    2. Reimbursement for property damages caused by children in the custody of the department of child protection services in an amount not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00), as evidenced by written documentation. The department of child protection services shall not incur liability for any damages as result of providing this reimbursement.


The Department of child protection services shall require the following responsibilities from participating persons who provide foster care and relative care:

  1. Understanding the department’s function in regard to the foster care and relative care program and related social service programs.
  2. Sharing with the department any information which may contribute to the care of children.
  3. Functioning within the established goals and objectives to improve the general welfare of the child.
  4. Recognizing the problems in home placement that will require professional advice and assistance and that such help should be utilized to its full potential.
  5. Recognizing that the family who cares for the child will be one of the primary resources for preparing a child for any future plans that are made, including return to birth parent(s), termination of parent rights or reinstitutionalization.
  6. Expressing their views of agency practices which relate to the child with the appropriate staff member.
  7. Understanding that all information shared with the persons who provide foster care or relative care about the child and his/her birth parent(s) must be held in strictest of confidence.
  8. Cooperating with any plan to reunite the child with his birth family and work with the brith family to achieve this goal, and
  9. Attending dispositional review hearings and termination of parental rights hearing conducted by a court of competent jurisdiction, or providing their recommendations to the guardian ad litem in writing.