Policies on Providing Timely Staff & Peer Support to Foster Parents

Providing Timely Staff & Peer Support to Foster Parents graphic

Support is Everyone's Game

In Oklahoma, agency leaders have made quality foster care a priority. The state has made a concerted effort to improve the resource family approval process and customer service to resource parents. As a result of streamlining paperwork, expediting background checks and completion of family assessments, and adding online pre-service training, the majority of resource homes are now approved within 60-90 calendar days from initial inquiry, down from 120 days. Oklahoma implemented a campaign called “Support is Everyone’s Game” to engage all Child Welfare Services staff in providing excellent customer service to resource parents. All new CWS staff complete Customer Service Training. According to foster parent exit surveys, over 85 percent of foster parents would recommend fostering to their friends and family. 

See Oklahoma's diligent recruitment plan for more information.

A Second Chance: Kinship Training and Support

A Second Chance, Inc. (ASCI) is based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and specializes in supporting child welfare-involved kinship families while providing parents with services to help them regain custody of their children. As part of its comprehensive approach, A Second Chance provides kinship care training specially designed to address the dynamics of kinship families; intensive in-home services, emergency assistance, including a clothing bank and flexible funding for other necessary expenses; respite services; and transportation. A Second Chance also assigns different social workers to work with the caregiver and the parent to ensure that immediate service needs, as well as longer-term reunification and permanency goals, are being met.

See the playbook for more information.

Tennessee Advocacy and Mentoring Program

The Tennessee Advocacy and Mentorship Program is designed to support foster parents in times of crisis or special needs. Advocates are experienced foster parents who receive training to provide assistance, support and representation in grievances and appeals with DCS. The Tennessee Foster Parent Bill of Rights established in law that any foster parent under investigation has the right to be represented by an Advocate. Advocates support the foster parent through the process while promoting the safety and well-being of the child above all else. Each of the twelve DCS regions has an assigned advocate.

See the playbook for more information.

Dispute Resolution Process

In 2019, Virginia enacted two measures regarding resolution of foster parent complaints. HB 2108 requires local boards and licensed child-placing agencies to adopt a dispute resolution process. SB 1339 requires the Commissioner of Social Services to establish a dispute resolution process at the state level, including a statewide, toll-free hotline. SB 1339 also requires the Commissioner to establish a caseload standard for foster care caseworkers.

See bill summary.