DCF: 48-12-3

Policy Manual
Assessment Of Child

Foster Parent Assessment

Assessment Determinants The assessment will include a determination as to whether it is appropriate for the foster parent(s) to adopt the child.

In considering the appropriateness of adoption by the foster parent(s), the following matters shall be included in the assessment:

  • the length of time the child has lived with the foster family in the context of the child's age and development
  • the child's emotional attachment to the foster family and the family's emotional attachment to the child including:

-  whether the child sees him/herself as a part of the family and wants to be adopted by them. Is the child free to make his feelings known? Is pressure being put on the child by the foster parents?

-  whether the child is emotionally invested or able to be emotionally invested in this family

  • the extent to which the foster family meets the child's short and long term needs
  • the number of previous moves a child has had and his/her capacity to attach to a new family
  • if the child has siblings, to what extent the foster family plans for the child's continued involvement with them and other birth relatives to whom he/she is attached
  • whether placement of the child's siblings who are free for adoption is possible in this family
  • whether placement of additional foster children in the home is in this child's best interest.
Assessment Questions The following questions should be asked of foster parents:
  • If it is a two parent family, do both foster parents want to adopt?
  • Why do they want to adopt this child?
  • If there are problems in their abilities to parent this particular child, is the family willing to be involved in counseling or with support groups to help overcome them? Are there problems in the foster family that are not being resolved and that are detrimental to the child?
  • What information do they have about the child's background? Is it enough to enable them to make an informed decision about adoption?
  • Have they accepted the child's background, both social and medical, and the future implications?
  • How have they handled the child's background with him/her? If their impressions of the birth family are negative, how do they handle this?
  • What are their feelings about planned contact with the birth family after the adoption is finalized, if this is considered to be in the child's best interests?
  • Can they handle interference from the birth family if this is a possibility? If they live in the same town, can they handle this?
  • If the foster parents are older, do they have the physical stamina and projected good health to raise the child through adolescence? Is there extended family support and direct involvement with the child? Is the extended family willing to make a commitment to the child should the foster family be unable to continue their care?
  • What is the attitude of other family members toward the child and the adoption? Do they like the child? If there are problems between the child and foster siblings, how are the foster parents dealing with this?
  • What is the foster family's potential ability to deal with the child over the years? What are their expectations?
  • Are the foster parents aware of the availability of adoption subsidies and the amounts for special needs children?
Discuss With Foster Parents Discuss with the foster parents the ways in which adoption is different from foster care. Among these are:
  • their changed role and financial and legal responsibility to the child
  • the financial aspect, including medical costs, the importance of placing the child on the family's medical plan, the availability of subsidies if the child qualifies
  • their independence from the Department and the availability of support services to them in the future, should they have need for it
  • legal status, including inheritance rights, changes in their wills, birth certificate and baptismal certificate changes and Social Security.
Transracial/ Cultural Factors In order to assist the foster parent in a transracial/cultural adoption, the following matters may be discussed with the family:
  • their experiences and understanding regarding the role of race and ethnic heritage in the child's upbringing
  • the ability of the extended family to integrate the child as a true member of the family
  • the nature of the support system which will help to meet individual needs related to the child’s racial/cultural background
  • the extent to which both foster parents and their children are accepting of the adoption.

Content Last Modified on 9/19/2007 9:00:37 AM