CHILD WELFARE MANUAL

Section 6, Chapter 20 (Roles and Responsibilities of Resource Parents) Subsection 3, – (Responsibilities of the Resource Parent)

20.3   Responsibilities of the Resource Parents

Resource Parent Responsibilities Include: 

  • To comply with the policies of the child placement agency;
  •  To treat children in their care, the child’s birth family and members of the child welfare team in a manner consistent with their ethical responsibilities as professional team members;
  • To participate in out-of-home care provider pre-service training and pertinent in-service training as determined by the Missouri State Foster Care and Adoption Advisory Board;
  • To participate in Division and community resources, Family Support Team meetings, as well as court activities as a team member and colleague who has pertinent information based on day-to-day knowledge of the youth in foster care in their care;
  • To assist with all Family Support Team recommendations and court orders regarding visitation plans;
  • To assist the youth in foster care and the Division in planning and effecting the child’s case plan objective for permanency;
  • To attend, and be heard, at court hearings regarding the youth placed in his/her home;
  • To provide a nurturing family life experience to the youth, including guidance, stimulation, and affection;
  • To teach and direct the behavior of the youth in foster care by administering discipline in a humane and sensitive manner that is consistent with state laws and regulations and Children’s Division policy and shall not include any form of corporal punishment;
  • To not allow a child to discipline another child in the foster home;
  • To not deprive a child of mail or family visits as a form of discipline;
  • To provide food, clothing (appropriate for the season, youth’s age and current styles), shelter, and personal care;
  • To provide care that is respectful and supportive of the youth’s cultural identity and needs and individuality;
  • To provide for the moral training of foster children in care and make available for religious education and attendance of services compatible with the child’s religious heritage, provided that this training would not be injurious to the foster child’s physical, mental, or emotional health;
  • To maintain a school file for the foster youth which is to follow the child in the event of removal from the home;
  • To share necessary information with school personnel in order to secure a safe and appropriate education for the youth in foster care, and to encourage the expression of the youth’s strengths and special talents;
  • To “act as the parent” in public school planning and placement if the student has disabilities. Part of that responsibility is to give consent and written permission at the time of initial evaluation and/or placement for special education and related services and at the time of reevaluation when additional assessments are required This applies only to resource parents. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will assign a “surrogate parent” for youth in residential facilities);
  • The resource family, the Guardian ad Litem, or the volunteer advocate whenever possible, may request that the youth be permitted to continue to attend the same school that the child was enrolled in and attending at the time the child was taken into custody by the Division, per Section 211.032.7(2), RSMo, and 167.022;
  • To provide the following educational assistance, which includes, but is not limited to the following:
    • Assist with homework as needed;
    • Attend parent/teacher conferences;
    • Pick up report cards;
    • Encourage participation in extracurricular activities; and
    • Inform the Family Support Team (FST)/Permanency Planning Review Team (PPRT) members of the youth’s educational performance.
  • To share information necessary for the medical, psychiatric, or educational needs of the youth with appropriate practitioners, the Children’s Service Worker, and other members of the child welfare team;
  • To cooperate with the Division in arranging for routine medical, vision, dental, and mental healthcare as well as ensuring that the youth receives appropriate care during any illness;
  • To use medical service providers enrolled with MO HealthNet or a Mo HealthNet Managed Care plan;
  • To maintain a record of the youth’s immunization records, physical, developmental, and mental health care which is to follow the child in the event of removal from the foster home;
  • To request a Medical Services Authorization Information letter, CD-27, when it is necessary to travel out-of-state with foster youth;
  • To submit immediately to the foster youth’s case manager any invoice or out-of-pocket paid receipt received for medical services provided to a foster youth;
  • To understand resource parents do not have the authority to sign or enter into contracts/agreements on behalf of the State of Missouri, the Department of Social Services or the Children’s Division. Resource parents who do sign contracts/agreements will be personally responsible for the cost, terms and conditions of the contract;
  • To keep a life book for the youth to record developmental progress as well as regular and special events in the child’s life while placed in their home;
  • To maintain absolute confidentiality of private information about the youth in foster care and his birth family;
  • To be flexible and cooperative with regard to family visitation, including family contacts and communication through phone calls and letters as appropriate;
  •  To assist with supervision of visits, but not be required to supervise visits;
  • To share information learned about the youth and the youth’s family, and concerns that arise in the care of the youth, with the Children’s Service Worker and other members involved with the family;
  • To give two weeks advance notice to the youth’s Children’s Service Worker, except for emergencies, when requesting removal of a youth from the home;
  • To inform the Children’s Service Worker within 60 days of the caseworker’s initial query of their desire to adopt a youth when the youth is free for adoption. If choosing not to adopt, the resource parent shall support and encourage the youth’s placement in a permanent home by providing history on the youth and accommodating transitional visitation;
  • To notify the Division within two weeks of any pertinent conditions, problems or major family changes;
  • To provide the youth with opportunity for recreational activities and for participation in family, school, and community activities;
  • To provide information to the worker and maintain a record of observed behaviors that will be useful in case planning and to participate in staffings;
  • To follow all procedures established by the Children’s Division and its contractors for requesting and using respite care;
  • To validate the youth’s feelings regarding their birth parent;
  • To assist in preparing the youth for any move that must be made;
  • Not use a foster youth for soliciting funds or in any other manner exploited by the foster family;
  • To provide work and chore experience for foster youth that is appropriate to the age, health, and abilities of each individual child. Chores and work shall not interfere with the foster youth’s time for school, study periods, play, sleep, normal community contacts, or visits with his/her family;
  • To differentiate between chores which foster youth are expected to perform as their share in family living and specific work assignments or opportunities as a means of earning money either in or outside the foster family;
  • To not require or permit work which requires the foster youth to operate dangerous or hazardous equipment or machinery unless adequate safety equipment and proper adult supervision are provided;
  • To provide and ensure safe and adequate supervision at all times appropriate to the foster youth’s age and individual needs;
  • To not require foster youth to perform chores or work which is different in amount and type from the community standard for other children;
  • To make every reasonable effort to provide opportunities for experience in earning, spending, and saving money based on age and individual requirements of each foster youth;
  • To not require an employed foster youth to pay room and board;
  • To permit foster youth to drive only after confirming insurance coverage and a proper operator’s license;
  • To only allow a foster youth to own or operate firearms or motor vehicles with written authorization from the legal custodian and proper training;
  • To have no surveillance cameras in areas of the home that violate the privacy of the foster youth, e.g. bathrooms and dressing areas;
  • To not allow the foster youth to use the foster parent(s) surname unless the child’s parent(s) and legal guardian give their consent in writing.

Chapter Memoranda History: (prior to 01-31-07)

CD06-16, CD06-58, CD06-69

 Memoranda History:

CD07-52, CD10-41, CD10-70, CD14-70, CD16-45, CD18-38