Children may not have telephone or personal contact with any biological family member unless the child’s county worker has approved that contact in advance. In most cases, visitation will be arranged by the agency social worker in coordination with the county social worker.
In most cases, visits are supervised at the county social service office but may also be held in a public location (e.g. park, restaurant), or at the Visitation Center.
Foster parents are expected to provide transportation to the visitation site. In some cases, foster parents are also expected to monitor the visit.
After visits, make a note on the visitation log of the date of the visit and any changes you have noted in the child’s behavior (both positive and negative changes).
In some long term placements, visitation is arranged between the resource and birth family. This is only done when visits are well established, are going well, and the resource parent is comfortable with this arrangement.
Family visits cannot be restricted or refused as a disciplinary tool. If there are severe behavior problems after visits, the family social worker will discuss the issue with the county worker. Particularly in reunification cases, it is extremely difficult to make changes in visitation arrangements.
When children go home on visits, they sometimes do not return on time. A late return is when the child is over two (2) hours overdue. When this occurs, call your family social worker and request instructions.
It is normal for children to show some behavior problems after a visit with their birth parents, and to do some acting out for a couple of days after. You should bring it to your family social worker’s attention if you note any of the following:
- Severe withdrawal
- Increased nightmares
- Severe aggressive or other acting out behavior
- Sexual acting out
- Acting out which continues for more than two (2) days.