For children and teens in kinship or foster care, resource parents are key members of a vital support team to assist children obtaining a permanent home. Other team members include the following:
Children and teens themselves
Other Family Types
Their caseworker and other child welfare agency staff or supervisors
Their guardian ad litem and/or court-appointed special advocate
The agency’s attorney and other legal staff
Judges and magistrates
Community service providers, including health care providers, school teachers, counselors and therapists
Informal supporters, including grandparents and other relatives or close friends of the primary family
Agencies are required to hold regular meetings throughout the time the child or teen is in care. These meetings allow those involved in the child’s life to make important decisions, review progress and plan for next steps. As a resource parent, you will be invited to attend these meetings. The meetings can have a variety of names, depending on the agency. They often are referred to as one of the following: team meeting, family team meeting, staffing, family group decision-making, semi-annual review, permanency team meeting, or just plain “meeting.”
Because you live with the child or teen, you have essential information about the youth’s functioning and needs that other members of the team need to know. It also can be helpful for you to hear directly from others about their experiences and points of view, so it’s important to attend all team meetings. If you cannot be there in person, ask the agency if arrangements can be made for you to call in by telephone.
It is important that you regularly share information about the child or teen by group or one-on-one meetings with the caseworker, primary family and other service providers. You may be able to provide a written summary of the child’s medical, educational, social and developmental progress while the child lives in your home. This information can be included with the other documentation that is reviewed at team meetings. Remember to follow your agency’s confidentiality policies any time you share information. If you are not sure what you are allowed to share, ask the child’s caseworker.