In The United States, the foster care system is overseen by the state government and legislature. Much of the day-to-day foster care and foster parent training in Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and all other states are actually executed by foster care agencies, like Benchmark Family Services.
Together state governments and foster care agencies protect and prioritize the rights of those they serve. At Benchmark Family Services we serve children in the foster care system as well as the foster parents who partner with us to provide care.
We are committed to delivering quality care to children and teens in foster care, recognizing that it begins with training, equipping, and valuing the rights of foster parents.
If you are a foster parent or are interested in becoming a foster parent, know that you have rights that have been established by your state government.
For today’s purposes, we have chosen to share Pennsylvania’s foster parent bill of rights. We hope this gives you an idea of what you can expect as a foster parent and the standards that should be upheld by the foster care agency you are working with.
Foster Parent Bill of Rights
A family that provides temporary foster or kinship care for children who need out-of-home placement and which may eventually provide permanency for those children, including as an adoptive family.
County and private agencies shall provide the following to resource families:
(1) Notification of scheduled meetings by the county or private agency concerning a child residing with a resource family in order to actively participate and have input into the service and permanency planning process regarding the child.
(2) Support services to assist in the care of the child, consistent with the child’s approved permanency plan.
(3) Open, complete and timely responses from the county or private agency when contacted by the resource family regarding the role of the resource family and the care of the child.
(4) Information about the child’s medical history, general behavior, and relationship with his or her parents shall be provided to the resource family as soon as that information is obtained by the county or private agency. Within a reasonable amount of time, the agency shall also provide information to the resource family concerning the educational history, life experiences and previous and prospective placement circumstances of the child.
(5) Consultation with the resource family in the development of the permanency plan.
(6) Consultation with the resource family in the decision to release the resource family’s address to the child’s parent and to be informed prior to such information being shared with the child’s parent.
(7) Assistance with the coordination of services that may be deemed necessary due to resulting family loss and separation upon a child’s departure from the resource family’s home when such relocation is not the result of an immediate threat to the health and safety of the child caused by the resource family.
(8) Information on all county or private agency policies and procedures that relate to the role of a resource family.
(9) Any appropriate training deemed necessary to enhance the skills and performance of the resource family.
(10) Information on how to receive services and reach county or private agency personnel on a 24-hour-a-day, 7-days-a-week basis.
(11) Confidentiality regarding allegations of abuse involving a member of the resource family. The provision of confidentiality shall not interfere with the safety of the child.
(12) Opportunity to be heard regarding agency decisions or practices involving a child residing in a family. The agency shall not discharge, threaten or otherwise discriminate or retaliate against a resource family for an appropriate inquiry regarding the decisions or practices of an agency that affects a child residing with the resource family.
Foster Parenting With Benchmark Family Services
At Benchmark Family Services we take these rights seriously and see it as an honor to resources, support, and train the wonderful foster parents and families we get to work with. We uphold all our policies and procedures to the highest standards of care and the Rights of Foster Parents in each state we work in.
If you are interested in becoming a foster parent or have any questions regarding foster parent training, rights, or resources, contact Benchmark Family Services Today.