15-Question Checklist for Prospective Resource Parents When Choosing a Foster Care Agency

  1. Parent Delight: Does the agency have a strong commitment to ensuring Resource Parents feel supported and are happy as foster parents, while treating resource parents as equal partners, and is this reflected in their policies and programs?
  2. Technological Support: Does the agency utilize state-of-the-art technology to facilitate real-time updates and seamless communication between resource parents and the agency?
  3. Training Programs: Does the agency offer compassionate and respectful training to equip you for the challenges and rewards of foster care?
  4. Financial Transparency: Is the agency transparent about the financial aspects of foster care, including monthly reimbursements tailored to the child’s needs and the services you provide?
  5. Reimbursement Rates: Does the agency offer reimbursement rates that are competitive or even higher than the state-required minimum?
  6. Incentivized Training: Are there financial incentives or stipends for resource parents who complete additional training hours annually?
  7. Psychological Support: Does the agency provide specialized psychological or counseling services specifically for resource parents?
  8. Advocacy: Will the agency advocate for you in the placement process and ensure that you are considered for future placements?
  9. Partnership Focus: Does the agency view you as a vital partner in the mission of providing homes for children rather than just another applicant?
  10. Additional Perks: Does the agency offer exclusive programs or benefits like massage or spa treatments or concierge services to enhance your well-being and experience as a resource parent?
  11. Transparency in Placement: Does the agency have a transparent placement protocol that keeps you informed throughout the process?
  12. We Go to You: Does the agency offer the flexibility of coming to you for meetings, evaluations, or training sessions?
  13. Flexible Training Options: Can you meet your annual training requirements through a combination of in-person or online training?
  14. On-Demand Orientation: Is orientation offered on-demand, allowing you to start the process at your convenience rather than waiting for a scheduled day?
  15. Unique Programs: Does the agency offer unique programs to care for children with diverse needs and provide appropriate compensation of up to $6,000 per month for one child?

Total Points: ______

 Scoring Interpretation: Yes = 1; No = 0

  • 14-15 Points: This agency is highly aligned with your needs and values, making it an excellent choice for you as a resource parent.
  • 11-13 Points: The agency meets a majority of your criteria and is likely a good fit. You may inquire further about the areas where it didn’t score to determine if those are crucial for you.
  • 8-10 Points: The agency meets some of your needs but may lack in important areas. Consider other options or discuss your needs with the agency to see if they can be met.
  • 4-7 Points: The agency fulfills some criteria but is missing key elements that are important to you. It’s advisable to look into other agencies that better align with your needs.
  • 0-3 Points: This agency does not seem to align well with your needs and values. Exploring other options would be highly recommended.

The score provides a general guideline; however, some questions may hold more weight for you personally. Therefore, consider the importance of each question in the context of your own priorities when making your final decision.

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