Fostering Teens: The Right Questions To Ask
As a foster or adoptive parent, it’s crucial to gather comprehensive information before accepting a placement to assess compatibility and ensure your ability to support the child’s healing process once in your home. The foster care placement meeting provides an opportunity to obtain vital details, making preparation essential.
Parenting, inherently a leap of faith, becomes especially nuanced when welcoming a child from foster care, considering their varied life experiences, some positive but often traumatic, leading to future challenges in behavior and emotional scars.
States manage foster care/adoption placements differently, typically involving a meeting with the child’s caseworker and professionals to decide on the placement’s viability. Equipping yourself with a set of questions for this meeting is advisable.
Accepting a child from foster care is undoubtedly a leap of faith, but it’s crucial to recognize that all parenting involves an element of faith. Strive to extract as much information as possible during the foster care placement meeting, aiding in making the best decision for both yourself and the child.
Questions to Ask at a Teen Foster Care Placement Meetings
1. Speak with current caregivers to understand the child’s existing schedule and routines.
2. Obtain a list of previous placements, their durations, and reasons for disruptions.
3. Inquire about the termination of parental rights, voluntary surrender, and the birth parents’ psychiatric history.
4. If adopting, understand why past foster parents did not adopt the child.
5. Explore if the child was exposed to alcohol or drugs during pregnancy and the potential impact on the child and siblings.
6. Learn about the child’s siblings’ current placements and why they aren’t together.
7. Determine the whereabouts of the biological parents and the expectations for ongoing contact.
8. Understand the child’s relationship with birth parents and whether there’s an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for school.
9. Assess the child’s ability to make age-appropriate friends.
10. Request a list of diagnoses, the source of diagnosis, current and previous medications, and any health or behavioral concerns.
11. Inquire about the child’s therapy history, including duration and treatment models.
12. Ask about any history of Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) or attachment disorders and the interventions employed.
13. Explore any past incidents of sexual acting out and safety concerns related to pets or younger children.
14. Investigate the child’s hospitalization history, including tests conducted.
15. Understand the child’s self-perception, awareness of adoption, and desires regarding adoption.