How does foster care work?

How does foster care work?

Best Answers

  • Answer ✓
     Hello Dee,

    Foster care works a little differently in each state.  I can comment to how it works in Texas, as that is where I am licensed and where I foster.  If a call is made into CPS (Child Protective Services), and they feel it is serious enough to investigate, they will send out an investigator to where the child is at the time whether that be a daycare, in the home, a relative home, school, etc.

    If they determine it is in the best interest of the child to remove them from their home, they will do so, and will contact CPS and other foster agencies to try to find a licensed foster home with open beds for the children.  They try very hard to keep siblings together, but often times due to the size of the sibling group or the ages of the siblings they are split among a number of homes.

    A case worker or agency worker will then be assigned to the children to check in on them, and to make sure that the family who previously had the child/children are given a safety plan to work.  Each parents' plan is different depending on the reason the child/children have come into care.  If drugs are involved parents are asked to attend treatment, often times jail time may be mandatory, classes are asked of the parents as well as psychological evaluations and therapy.  Parents will also be given a visitation schedule as visits in the beginning will be supervised by CPS staff at an office of their choosing.  Parents will be given a time frame to work their plan, and often times this will be extended (sometimes for years).

    Each case will go to court on a regular basis to make sure that the parents are complying with their plan, to make sure that the best interest of the children are being served, to make sure the children are doing well in their placements or to suggest new placements if needed.

    There will be a number of people coming in and out of the foster home to check in on the children: case workers, agency workers, CASAs, home developers, possibly adoption workers, therapists, etc.

    If the parent works their plan to the point that the judge on the case and the case workers are satisfied than a transition plan for the child to return home is put into place.  If the parents cannot work their plan and do what is requested of them or they abandon the child/children than the case can go into either PMC (permeant managing consvertorship) of the state or into adoption.

  • Answer ✓
    Great answer above. From an adopting perspective, remember the children tend to be older (not newborns) for foster care adoption and the goal of the state is reunification with the birth family. You won't automatically get to adopt every child that comes into your home for foster care.
  • DeeDee
    Answer ✓
    Thank you both! 
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