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Foster Parent Rights & Responsibilities
Older foster mother in a greenhouse talking to her foster daughter

Legally, foster parents do not have custody or guardianship of the children in their care; the county children services agencies do. However, foster parents and the agencies share day-to-day responsibility for the children.

Foster Parent Responsibilities

  • To meet children’s basic needs for food, clothing and shelter
  • To create a safe place for children to learn and grow
  • To provide a safe environment for children to cope with complex feelings
  • To ensure children feel included and equal in all family activities
  • To provide transportation for children to all appointments, visits, events, etc.
  • To encourage children to participate in social and recreational activities
  • To monitor and strengthen children’s academic progress
  • To provide consistent and realistic guidance and discipline
  • To work with the professionals and birth family as part of the team helping the family
  • To support children’s identity and traditions

Foster Parent Rights

  • To be treated as part of the child welfare team
  • To ensure the well-being of their family
  • To receive proper training and support
  • To receive reimbursement for covering the basic needs of the children in their care
  • To receive children’s medical cards and arrange for their medical care
  • To receive relevant information about children prior to placement
  • To refuse placement of a child in their home
  • To advocate on a child’s behalf for needed services
  • To request the removal of a child from their home when it is necessary for the safety or well-being of the child or other parties
  • To communicate with any educational or medical professionals working with a child
  • To assist in planning visits with the birth family
  • To enroll children in activities

Additional Information