A sufficiently diverse group of foster families is recruited, prepared, and supported to meet the needs of the children in care, and their families.
Interpretation: An agency that has responsibility for placing Indian children should work closely with tribes to identify foster homes within the tribal community.
Recruitment efforts are planned, implemented, and evaluated to ensure a suitable family is available for each child entering care.
Interpretation: Planning should include a regular assessment of the types of homes needed, recruitment resources available, and recruitment goals. Evaluation of recruitment efforts should include the cost-effectiveness of activities and the utilization of new foster families.
Interpretation: Generally, when employees or consultants of the agency express interest in becoming foster parents, the agency refers them to another provider. If the agency allows employees or consultants to provide foster care, the agency must have a policy and procedures that address the circumstances under which this practice is allowed, conflicts of interest, confidentiality of client and foster parent information, evaluation of the foster home, and any other risks that have been identified by the agency.
The agency determines the appropriate amount of mandatory pre-service and in-service education necessary to ensure that foster parents understand:
Interpretation: The agency may consider the current experience, knowledge, and skills of each foster parent when determining the appropriate amount of training required. Relevant topics when working with parents may include: involving parents in decisions about their children’s lives, encouraging visits, and maintaining the parent-child relationship.
Foster parents receive pre-service training on rights and responsibilities including:
Foster parents are:
Interpretation: Retraining should be provided at least every 2 years.
Interpretation: When foster parents provide therapeutic foster care to children with exceptional medical needs, CPR certification is required. In other cases, the state will determine whether and under what circumstances it is necessary and appropriate for foster parents to be certified in CPR. If it is determined that CPR certification is not necessary, the agency should develop a plan for how foster parents should respond in case of emergency. Appropriate responses may vary based on the geographic area served.
Foster parents sign a statement agreeing to refrain from the use of corporal and degrading punishment, and receive initial and ongoing training and support to promote positive behavior and use appropriate discipline techniques.
Each foster family develops or uses the agency's protocols for responding to emergencies including accidents, run-away behavior, serious illness, fire, and natural disasters.
The agency provides opportunities for peer support among foster parents.
Foster parents have access to services to prevent and reduce stress and family crisis including:
Interpretation: When appropriate, the child’s extended family and other community members should be considered as valuable resources when identifying services to help reduce stress and relieve family crisis.
Interpretation: When the case involves an Indian child, services offered by the tribe or local Indian organizations should be considered when identifying support services.
Each foster family receives an annual evaluation to identify areas of strength and concern, and a plan is developed to address needs for support or training.
Interpretation: An evaluation performed as part of the home recertification process may be used to demonstrate implementation of this standard, provided such evaluations are conducted annually.