Don’t Forget to Ask These 20 Questions Before A Placement

Foster parents often wish they had asked more questions before accepting a child into their home.  The checklist below is designed to assist you in your discussion with the worker placing the child. 


  1. Name, date of birth and ethnicity.
  2. Why is this child in human service’s custody?  Did the case involve domestic violence, neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, or substance abuse?
  3. What is the previous placement experience of the child?  If the child was moved previously, why? Have relatives been explored?
  4. Does this child have siblings?  Why are they not being placed with the siblings?  If being placed separately, is ongoing contact recommended?
  5. What is the child’s understanding of why he/she has been separated from their family?
  6. Has the child been evaluated and if so what is their diagnosis?
  7. Is the child in therapy?  (Occupational, Physical, Speech, or Mental Health)
  8. What are the child’s unique behavior problems, emotional problems and unusual habits?
  9. Does this child harm younger children or pets?
  10. How is the child's health? Allergies, immunizations, dental care, medication? Does the department have any birth history?
  11. Where is this case in the legal process?  What is the expected length of placement?
  12. Will the parents be visiting?  How often?  How much?  Where?
  13. What is your expectation of me, as the foster parent, regarding transportation for the child?
  14. If the child is school-aged, do they have an Individualized Educational Plan?
  15. Does the child have sufficient clothing?  Will there be clothing allowance?
  16. Will there be a pre-placement visit?
  17. May I talk with the current foster parents before making a decision?  (Get the foster parents input about the child, how he is doing developmentally and what they've found to be successful in parenting the child).
  18. Religion:  important or not?
  19. What will the maintenance rate be?
  20. What makes our family an ideal match for this child?  (It is very important to understand how the department made their decision).