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Resources for Parents

Children placed in out-of-home care may live in a number of possible settings. These include kinship or relatives' homes, family foster homes, treatment foster homes, or group or residential care. Many communities use the phrase "foster care" to refer to this array of placements. Use the following resources to learn more about foster care, including what to expect, tips for building positive relationships with caseworkers and your child's caregiver, and information to help you find additional help or support.

What to expect

Reunification: Bringing Your Children Home From Foster Care
Series Title Factsheets for Families
Author(s)
Child Welfare Information Gateway
Availability View
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Versión para imprimir (PDF - 837KB)
Year Published 2016
Provides a general overview of the reunification process, including what parents can expect while their children are in foster care, what they can do to help their children return home, and what to expect after children return home. Resources available to help families during and after reunification also are included.
Understanding Child Welfare and the Courts
Series Title Factsheets for Families
Author(s)
Child Welfare Information Gateway
Availability View
Download (PDF - 544KB)
Order (Free)
Year Published 2016
Provides families involved with the child welfare system an overview of the court process. This factsheet answers frequently asked questions about parental rights and offers suggestions on how to prepare for and respond to court proceedings. It also includes information on filing an appeal, a glossary of court terms, and recommended resources.

The Parents' Get Real Guide to Getting Your Kids Back (PDF - 5,490 KB)
Leggins, Randall, Cox, & Wolf (2011)
Be Strong Families
Provides parents with information on effective strategies for reuniting with their children and highlights how to obtain practical resources as well as emotional and spiritual support.

A Family's Guide to the Child Welfare System (PDF - 846 KB)
McCarthy, Marshall, Collins, Arganza, Deserly, & Milon (2003)
National Technical Assistance Partnership for Child and Family Mental Health at Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development.
Helps parents better understand the child welfare system and answers questions many parents will have. This resource is also available in Spanish.

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Building relationships with your permanency team

Create a Great Relationship With Your Foster Child's Caseworker
DeGarmo (2016)
ExpertBeacon
Discusses ways to create healthy, effective working relationships between foster parents and their caseworkers. Parents may find these tips helpful as well.

My Family Connections Booklet (PDF - 3,040 KB)
Iowa Foster and Adoptive Parents Association (2015)
Provides a detailed photo workbook to facilitate close relationships between children and their birth parents throughout the foster care process.

Building Relationships With Foster Parents (PDF - 477 KB)
Rise (13), 2009
Presents a complete issue of Rise magazine, which is written by and for parents involved in child welfare. This issue explores the obstacles to positive relationships and the actions and attitudes that help parents and children connect.

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Finding support

Birth Parent National Network
Provides information about a group that works with those who are committed to improving policies for better outcomes for children and families, with a focus on establishing parent leaders who are willing to share their challenges and successes across the country to effect change.

Circle of Parents
Offers a friendly, supportive environment led by parents and other caregivers where anyone in a parenting role can openly discuss the successes and challenges of raising children.

National Coalition for Parent Advocacy in Child Protective Services
Focuses on issues parents have faced during their involvement with child protective services and how they have come together to create positive public policy and program changes. Part of the organization's mission is to create changes that prevent the removal of children from their families, strengthen and ensure the rights of families, and return children to their families.

Parents Anonymous
Provides evidence-based, culturally responsive, and innovative training and resources to help strengthen parents effectively care for their children and create better outcomes for their families and communities.

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