There have been many requests by caregivers for more information regarding parent-child visits and how to best support foster child(ren) before, during and after visits. In response to this request, a new form has been created It also contains a link to a new form you each caregiver should be receiving, entitled the “Child Specific Caregiver Notification.”
The form number is 15-450 (01/2015), and you can locate a copy of this form online here:
It is also attached to this email as a courtesy.
This form is new, and came out as part of the new provider contract that applies to all visitation agencies in January of 2015. It is now a requirement that workers provide this form to you, and they will likely ask for your signature acknowledging you have received it (see page 4 of the form). There was some discussion that caregivers MAY be able to request verbal notification in lieu of a written form, but regardless, the information should be shared.
The key highlights of this form include:
– Where the visit took place, how long it was, and who was there
– When the child last slept, ate, and was changed (if applicable)
– If anything occurred during the visit that would effect the welfare of the child (aka an injury)
If you are not being given this information, please let your social worker or case manager (for private agencies) know. This form was designed, in part, after FPAWS presented that caregivers were often not getting systematic information needed to care for children after visitation. As an alternative to this form, many families use a “communication notebook” that is passed directly from the visiting families and the caregiver. This would include the information referenced above. Make sure you get permission from the social worker before initiating a communication binder, to make sure it is appropriate.
A few other tips that I wanted to share from a transporter!
You should ALWAYS send a visit bag or supplies with your child, that include any items they may need during visitation. This may include (but is not limited to)
o Change of clothing
o Food or formula
o Needed medication (ie. Inhaler)
§ By policy, visiting parents or family members may NOT give medication, and visitation workers or workers will not be able to give medication, unless it is of an emergency nature, such as an inhaler for asthma, supplemental oxygen, etc. If your child has medication they will need during the visit time, make SURE your worker knows so it can go out on the visitation referral for providers to reference.
While it is true that parents working towards reunification should make an effort to provide items for their children, there are many reasons why this may not be possible. Sending a bag also provides supplies for your child should the parent not show, the worker become stuck in traffic, etc. and if the parent is to bring the above items to the visit the transporter can leave your supplies in the car.