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Foster Parents' Rights and Responsibilities

Take our questionnaire about becoming a foster care provider.

This statement of Rights and Responsibilities represents a collaborative effort by foster parent work groups and DSHS. Its purpose is to provide guidelines that will direct the course of relationships between foster parents and DSHS Services toward the mutual goal of fostering safe, healthy children.

  • The RIGHT to be treated with consideration and respect by agency staff.
  • The RIGHT to a supportive relationship from the agency.
  • The RIGHT to receive reimbursement for the children in their care in a timely manner.
  • The RIGHT to be trained in the role as members of a team.
  • The RIGHT to give input into the decisions regarding the child in their care and to be treated as a member of the team in developing case plans for the child.
  • The RIGHT to a clear explanation or description of their role as foster parents and the role of the child's family and the agency.
  • The RIGHT to receive pertinent information about the children in their care.
  • The RIGHT to be informed of any grievance procedures or access to any appeals process should they wish to appeal the agency's policy, regulation, or plan for a child in their care.
  • The RIGHT to continue their own family patterns and traditions.
  • The RIGHT to refuse to accept a child into their family if they feel they cannot meet the needs of the child or the placement will affect the well-being of the foster family.
  • The RIGHT to be notified of any Court action, Administrative Review, or Foster Care Citizen Review Board Hearing concerning a child in their care. Per Washington statute; the Judge makes the decision regarding a foster parent attending a Court Hearing.
  • The RIGHT to be included in the permanency consideration for the child who is in the foster family's care.
  • The RIGHT & RESPONSIBILITY to advocate for children in their care.
  • The RESPONSIBILITY for the day-to-day care and nurturance of the child.
  • The RESPONSIBILITY for keeping the agency informed of any changes in the child's life and in the foster parent's household.
  • The RESPONSIBILITY to respect a child's biological family, traditions, culture and values.
  • The RESPONSIBILITY to gain further knowledge and expertise regarding the care of children by attending on-going foster parent training.
  • The RESPONSIBILITY to work cooperatively with agency staff as members of the child's team.
  • The RESPONSIBILITY to ensure a child's health and safety needs are met.

This statement of Rights and Responsibilities represents a collaborative effort by foster parent work groups and the Department of Social and Health Services. This statement is based on the Child Welfare League of America's document entitled "Foster Parents' Rights and Responsibilities." Its purpose is to provide guidelines that will direct the course of relationships between foster parents and the Department of Social and Health Services toward the mutual goal of fostering safe, healthy children. This statement is not intended to create any duties that do not already exist in statute for either foster parents or on the Department. Nothing in this statement is intended to create a private right of action or claim on the part of any individual or entity. May 2001.

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