Resource Parents’ Roles and Responsibilities

As members of a professional team with DHS staff, resource parents assume responsibility both to DHS and to the children and families served. A clear understanding of the roles, abilities and requirements of the resource parents is necessary for effective coordination with DHS staff and the children and families served.

Responsibilities of the resource parent to the child in DHS custody and the child’s family

Responsibilities of the resource parent include:

  1. Integrating the child into the foster family setting and caring for the child as the foster parent would for the foster parent’s own child
  2. Providing mentoring services to the child’s parents and coordinating visitation and contact to facilitate timely reunification, including phone and mail contact when appropriate
  3. Working as a multidisciplinary team member with the Child Welfare worker and the child’s parents toward family reunification or other permanency plan
  4. Helping the child understand why he or she is in foster care and to deal with the grief caused by the separation
  5. Cooperating and assisting in sibling contact or visitation, including phone and mail contact, when siblings are separated
  6. Helping the child maintain a connection to the child’s kin, culture and community
  7. Cooperating and assisting the CW worker in the placement of siblings together
  8. Helping the child develop a positive identity and self-esteem by feeling lovable, capable, worthwhile and competent
  9. Helping the child learn appropriate behavior without using physical punishment
  10. Utilizing appropriate behavior management, parent-child conflict resolution, and stress management techniques in a manner appropriate to the age and development of the child in foster care
  11. Enrolling the child in an accredited school, if applicable, and ensuring that the child attends
  12. Advocating for the child to obtain appropriate educational testing and placement in a timely manner
  13. Attending school conferences and Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meetings
  14. Ensuring the child participates in extracurricular and other recreational activities as appropriate
  15. Ensuring the child’s necessary medical, dental, and counseling needs are met by:
    1. Making appointments and participating in trauma-focused services as recommended
    2. Providing transportation to appointments and sibling and parent visits
    3. Obtaining prescription medications or over-the-counter medications as necessary and administering the medication as directed
  16. Maintaining records of all medical, dental, and counseling appointments and notifying the CW worker of the time and place of the appointments, all medications prescribed for the child, and over-the-counter medications given to the child
  17. Notifying the CW worker of all medical and educational problems and progress
  18. Ensuring the child’s opportunity to participate in the religious practices of the child’s family’s choice, including the provision of transportation to worship services other than those of the foster parent,
    if necessary, and ensuring a child in foster care is not made to attend religious services against the child’s wishes
  19. Providing transportation for the child to meet with legal counsel upon reasonable request, attending court hearings as desired or required, submitting to the court written reports or presenting testimony concerning the strengths, needs, behavior, important experiences, and relationships of the child, in addition to other information the court requests
  20. Providing from the foster care reimbursement:
    1. Essentials such as food, shelter, non-prescription medical needs, clothing, shoes and toiletries (ii) Clothing and fees for special activities
    2. School pictures
    3. Athletic and band instrument fees
    4. Cap and gown rental and prom clothing
    5. Birthday and holiday gifts
  21. Providing federally mandated independent living services to youth who are at least 16 years of age and assisting other children in learning basic life skills that allow the opportunity to improve self-concept and strengthen identity in preparation for life after foster care
  22. Allowing the child access to mail from family members and the child’s attorney
  23. Allowing the child overnight stays with friends of the child whom the foster parent knows and approves while ensuring the safety of the child

Responsibilities of the resource parent in the development and support of an appropriate permanency plan for each child

Responsibilities of the resource parent include:

  1. Informing the CW worker and other team members of each child’s strengths, needs, progress and development
  2. Participating in the development of an effective parent and child visitation plan that defines contact with the parents and siblings, if siblings are separated
  3. Collaborating with the child’s CW worker prior to visits with the birth parents unless part of a specific plan
  4. Advising the CW worker of all pertinent information about the child and family
  5. Participating in meetings and case staffings when appropriate
  6. Completing all required training hours annually, including annual policy training when offered
  7. Maintaining current medical and education records for each child in foster care. A Life Book is maintained for each child placed in the home to support the child’s sense of family continuity. These records accompany the child when he or she leaves the foster home

Continue to Resource Specialists’ Roles and Responsibilities