Reasonable and Prudent Parenting Standards

“Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard” means careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain the child’s health, safety, and best interests.

Goal of the Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard:

  • Provide the youth with a “normal” life experience in out home care.
  • Empower the out-of-home caregiver to encourage youth to engage in extracurricular activities that promote child well being.
  • Allow for reasonable parenting decisions to be made by the out-of-home caregiver without waiting to obtain the social worker or Juvenile Court approval.
  • Remove barriers to recruitment and retention of high quality foster caregivers.
  • Reduce the need for social workers to either give permission or to obtain Juvenile Court approval for reasonable care giving activities, should be care-giving. 
  • Respect the rights of youth in out-of-home care.

Occasional Short-Term Babysitting:

Every caregiver may arrange for occasional short-term ("Short-term" means no more than 24 consecutive hours.) babysitting of their foster child and allow individuals to supervise the foster child on occasions, including, but not limited to:

  • When the foster parent has a medical or other health care appointment
  • Grocery or other shopping
  • Personal grooming appointments
  • Special occasions for the foster parents
  • Foster parent training classes
  • School-related meetings (such as parent-teacher conferences)
  • Business meetings
  • Adult social gatherings
  • An occasional evening out by the foster parent

Caregivers shall use a reasonable and prudent parent standard in determining and selecting appropriate babysitters for occasional short-term use.

  • The caregiver shall endeavor to provide the babysitter with the following information before leaving the child for purposes of short-term care:
    • Information about the child's emotional, behavioral, medical or physical conditions, if any, necessary to provide care for the child during the time the foster child is being supervised by the babysitter.
    • Any medication that should be administered to the foster child during the time the foster child is being supervised by the babysitter.
    • Emergency contact information that is valid during the time the foster child is being supervised by the babysitter.
  • Babysitters selected by the caregiver to provide occasional short-term care to a foster child under the provisions of this section shall be exempt from any department regulation requiring health screening or cardiopulmonary resuscitation certification or training.

Was this article helpful?