blog photo how to get a 5 star foster parent review

How to get a 5 Star Foster Parent Review

  • June 25th, 2024
  • By Pathway Caring for Children

This is the time of year when many employees participate in performance evaluations. Evaluations let us know what we are great at…and identify the areas where we have opportunity to grow.

Here is a fun way for you to do a quick self-assessment. Below are a few areas that often could use a little work.  Read each of the skills below. Self-reflect. Give yourself 1-5 stars in each area.

1. I consistently challenge myself to grow and become better at meeting the needs of the children in my care.

You may be an exceptional parent and much of what your foster child needs you naturally provide by just “being you”.  But maybe you have a child who has a diagnosis or trauma response that is unfamiliar to you. This doesn’t mean you are not a good fit for them…it means it’s time for you to become passionate about gaining expertise and experience around something new! Are you open to learning and trying new things? Your Case Manager may provide trauma informed interventions to try in your home…they may tell you about community resources that may benefit your child– but it is up to you if these things actually impact the child in your care. Are you quick to try out new tools and  connect your child with recommended resources? Do you give these new tools the time and consistency to have an impact?

2
. I use only approved methods of discipline.

Foster parent guidelines tell us we cannot use physical discipline, verbally abusive language, threaten to take away a protected right, or punish a child for anything they are unable to control. (That’s a BIG ONE…many times we assume that a child can control things they cannot, or we assume that they can control something consistently when they simply “are not there” yet.)
 
The intent of discipline should be to teach, remind, and support –not punish. More importantly…when teaching a traumatized child, we are retraining their brain. This means we may need to model a behavior and have them practice many times. We may need to make “do-overs” a normal part of “getting it right”. Remember…a ton of good can come from catching incremental signs of progress so we can praise, praise, praise.  
 
There is no ONE “right way” to discipline but there is one thing we should keep in mind: HOW we teach our children matters! Whenever we discipline a child, they may learn many unexpected lessons: that we are safe, that we care about them, that we are on “their side”, that they are loveable and capable…that everything is going to be okay.  
 
A child may forget what we say – they will not forget how we made them feel. 
 
Pause to consider, “How does my current approach to discipline make this child feel?”. 

3. My communication style keeps the team well informed and allows the care team access to the child in my care.

Anytime you have new information about your foster child, do you promptly inform your Case Manager (CM)? Your CM is responsible for documenting the progress of the child in your care. Behind the scenes they must also make sure you are compliant in meeting the care needs for your child as outlined in our contract with the county.  As a licensed Pathway foster parent, we depend on you to communicate in a way that allows your CM to advocate for you and your child as things occur. This also means you make your child accessible to your CM by setting and keeping home visit appointments and you turn in all documentation in a timely manner. Med logs, medical forms and dental forms should be given to your CM at the first home visit after you receive these forms.

THIS MONTH’S CHALLENGE: Share your self-assessment with your Case Manager. Tell them the areas you feel you do well in and share with them anything you plan to do differently.

If you are considering becoming a foster parent, Pathway Caring for Children is ready to support you in taking this remarkable journey toward making a difference in the lives of children in Ohio.

Have more questions? We can’t wait to hear from you! All questions are good questions, don’t hesitate to reach out! recruitment@pathwaycfc.org