As strange as it may sound, even foster children are given goals in the reunification plan. The foster children, like their parents, are expected to make progress towards their assigned goals. Their progress is reviewed every 90 days by the court at the review hearings. The goals for the children vary depending on their ages, developmental levels, and needs. It is up to the foster parents and caseworkers involved in the case to assist foster children in achieving most of their assigned goals. This is because most foster children do not have a car or a driver’s license to transport themselves to assigned therapies or activities. Even if the children were old enough to utilized public transportation, they would still need to be provided with proper fare and reminded of appointments.
A frequent goal assigned to most foster children, except infants, is to participate in counseling, therapy, or play therapy. This is to help the child’s sense of well-being and mental health. Foster parents tend to be supportive of this goal. This is because it gives them someone to discuss the children’s behaviors with and discover new tools for modifying undesirable behaviors.
School age children are assigned a goal of participating and benefiting from their education. They are expected to attend classes that are scheduled. Sometimes this is difficult to accomplish with teenagers who may refuse to get out of bed or attend class. They are also expected to complete assignments and earn passing grades. Teenagers may be found in contempt of court for noncompliance. It is best to keep the foster care worker apprised of school problems.
Most foster children are also expected to visit weekly with their parents. This goal is expected to maintain an existing bond or create a bond where none exists. Obviously if the parents are incarcerated, currently using drugs, or otherwise inappropriate this goal might be waived.
Other goals might include speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, social activities, dental appointments, and physicals. Teenagers might need anger management, budgeting skills, and they may be required to seek employment to prepare for independent living.
The Permanency Planning Meeting for Your Foster Child
The Adjudication Hearing Placing a Child in Foster Care
The Review Hearing for Your Foster Child
The Parents’ Reunification Goals When Their Children Are in Foster Care
Photo Credit Julia Fuller 2008