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Foster Placement Calls: Questions to Ask

Congratulations on completing the application and licensing requirements for becoming a foster parent!

While you’re waiting for your first call about a potential foster placement, it’s a good time to think about questions to ask when you receive that always-exciting call.

Keep in mind that when you receive calls about potential foster placements, you’ll almost inevitably experience a burst of nervous energy.

Having a pre-prepared list of questions in hand helps ensure that you’ll receive the information you need to make an informed decision about whether to accept a potential placement.

To be sure, a case worker may not have the answers to all of your questions, but the more information you can gather the better.

After all, it isn’t in anyone’s best interest for you to accept a placement that isn’t likely to be successful. So don’t hesitate to say “no” to a placement that you feel isn’t a good fit for you and your family, or isn’t a good fit for the child or children you are currently foster parenting.

While it can be very difficult to say no to a potential foster placement, just think about how you’ll be available when the “right” child comes along.

With all of the above in mind, following is a list of suggested questions to ask when you receive a call about a potential foster placement:

Basic Background Information

  • What is the child’s name, gender, ethnicity and religious preference?
  • What is their age and birth date?
  • What is the child’s legal status?
  • When does the child need to be placed?
  • Does the child have any belongings or do they need anything right away (such as clothes, medications, toys, bottles, formula, etc.)?

Parents and Siblings

  • Where do the child’s parents live?
  • Does the child have siblings, and if yes, where do they live?
  • What is the plan for visits with parents and/or siblings?What is the child’s name, gender, ethnicity and religious preference?
  • What is their age and birth date?
  • What is the child’s legal status?
  • When does the child need to be placed?

Foster History, Schooling

  • Is this the child’s first placement?
  • How long has the child been in foster care?
  • Why is the child in foster care? 
  • How long do you expect the child with be with me/us?
    Obviously, it’s helpful to know if it’s expected to be a short-term foster placement or a long-term foster placement.
  • Where does the child go to school or daycare?
    Keeping a child’s life as normal as possible under the circumstances can be enormously beneficial, so it’s worth thinking about whether you can help the child maintain existing connections. 
  • Does the child receive any special services?
  • What is the permanency plan?
    Typically the goal is reunification with the biological parents, but in some cases adoption may be the expected outcome and foster-to-adopt may be a possibility. 

Parents and Siblings

  • Where do the child’s parents live?
  • Does the child have siblings, and if yes, where do they live?
  • What is the plan for visits with parents and/or siblings?

Medical and Behavioral History

  • Does the child have any medical conditions?
  • Does the child have any allergies or dietary issues?
  • What medications does the child take? 
  • Does the child see a mental health professional? If yes, who and how often?
  • Does the child have any behavioral issues?
  • Are there any safety concerns I should be aware of?

Finally, you may also want to inquire about the child’s interests or activities.  And towards the end of the call you probably want to ask an open-ended question like:

“Is there anything else I need to know or would want to know?”

Last but not least, take some time to think about how you plan to end the call. For example, you may want to say that you’d like to discuss the potential placement with your spouse or partner—and give them the opportunity to ask questions of their own.

On behalf of everyone at Omni Visions, we hope you’ve found this list of suggested questions helpful, and we encourage you to keep this list handy for when you receive calls about possible foster placements. While the Omni Family of Services provides services for adults and children in Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky and Georgia, these questions apply broadly.

Want to learn more about the Omni Family of Services?
Of course, if you’re interested in learning more about Omni’s services—or interested in becoming a foster parent and fostering in one of the aforementioned  states—we encourage you to call us toll-free at (800) 851-6108. For two decades Omni has specialized in providing training and support to caregivers so foster children can reach their fullest potential.

Useful Resources

Foster Parent Requirements

Become A Foster or Adoptive Parent

Foster Care FAQ

How Much do Foster Parents Get Paid

How Long Does it Take to Become a Foster Parent

Benefits of Being a Foster Parent

Foster Care Therapeutic vs Traditional