Foster Parent Job Description

The goal of foster care is to provide for the physical, emotional and social needs of children in a "substitute" family setting - a foster home - until the biological family can be reunited or a permanent placement plan can be implemented.

Responsibilities to the Child

Responsibilities to the Agency

Responsibilities to the Biological Parents

Responsibilities to the Foster Parent's Own Family

Responsibilities to the Child

  • Provide a safe and comfortable home for the child to live in with a separate bed and place for his/her belongings.
  • Provide for the child's basic physical and emotional needs as if the child were a biological child.
  • Provide for school attendance, monitor progress, note special needs and accomplishments.
  • Provide appropriate clothing.
  • Attend to medical and dental needs, including regular checkups as well as attending to special needs.
  • Help the child through the grieving and adjustment process that accompanies removal from his/her own home and placement.
  • Help the child maintain a realistic relationship with his/her family through cooperation with visitation plans and active consideration to his/her feelings.  Assist the child in preparing to return home or being moved to an adoptive home.
  • Provide recreational and enrichment activities that will promote the healthy development of the child.
  • Maintain a record for the child of his/her time in foster care, development milestones, photographs, report cards, etc.

Responsibilities to the Agency

  • Keep the agency informed of problems and progress of the foster child, including immediate notification if the child runs away or has been injured.
  • Keep the agency informed of changes in your home including change in address and phone numbers, deaths or departures of immediate family members, additional to family, notification before vacations, leaving the state for any reason, etc.
  • Be available for meetings with social workers working with the child.
  • Attend foster parent training opportunities and comply with the agency's training policy.
  • Participate in Administrative Reviews and Court Hearings with regard to the child.
  • Give a minimum of 30 days notice when requesting removal of a child.
  • Cooperate with agency workers to implement plan for family reunification or permanent placement.
  • Keep confidential any information regarding the foster child and the child's family that is given by the social worker, biological parent or foster child, unless the child would be in immediate harm.
  • Comply with state regulations as outlined in Wisconsin Administrative Code HSS 56, agency policies and procedures.

Responsibilities to the Biological Parents

  • Cooperate with the visitation plan; if visitation is in your home, assist in making parents feel comfortable and allowing time with the child.
  • Help the child maintain an emotional bond and involvement with his/her biological parents and extended family members
  • When requested by the worker, model and discuss appropriate parenting behavior with the parent.
  • Provide necessary and appropriate information about the child's growth and development, likes, dislikes, etc., to the parent.
  • Help prepare the family for the child's return to the parental home.
  • Aid in facilitating parental involvement in important aspects of the child's life, such as medical appointments, school conferences, social activities, school activities and sporting events.

Responsibilities to Foster Parents' Own Family:

  • Discuss openly with all members of the family the decision to provide foster care and all members participation in a decision to accept a particular child.
  • Make every effort to maintain usual lifestyle and relationships while providing foster care, including private time with own family members.
  • Help all members understand the impact taking a foster child into the family may have on the family routine, etc.
  • Prepare all members for the arrival of foster children, including discussion of the foster child's special needs.