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Showing posts from March, 2019

Rethinking Relationships

At a recent meeting I attended, a foster parent described her role as being a “co-parent” with the birth parent to raise a child in foster care. That is, she envisioned that her job was to temporarily help care for the child – with the birth parent – while doing everything in her power to support efforts to reunify the family.

This philosophy accords with the work of the Quality Parenting Initiative – organized by the Youth Law Center – which has “caregivers, agency staff and birth parents work as a team to support children and youth.”  Consistent with this, across the country, foster parents are leading a revolution to encourage birth parents – by supervising visits, bringing them to doctor’s appointments and school meetings, and helping them with their treatment plan.

The foster care system needs an overhaul. But to do this, we must rethink our unproductive ways of conceptualizing relationships, particularly those that we have construed as necessarily adversarial. Foster parents an…