Department for Community Based Services

Standards of Practice Online Manual

12.10 Rights/Responsibilities of DCBS Foster and Adoptive Home Parents

Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Department for Community Based Services
Division of Protection and Permanency
Standards of Practice Online Manual
Chapter 12-Resource Family Recruitment, Certification and Reimbursement
12.10 Rights/Responsibilities of DCBS Foster and Adoptive Home Parents

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Legal Authority/Introduction


Persons who provide foster and adoptive home services to children who have been committed to the custody of the Cabinet are a primary partner and member of the professional team caring for children in substitute care.  Foster and adoptive home parents have rights and expectations that DCBS must abide by and enforce.


Rights of DCBS Foster Parents

The Cabinet will strive to ensure that foster and adoptive home parents:

  1. Are provided a complete understanding of the role of the Cabinet and the role of other members of the foster child's professional team (all workers, community partners, etc.);
  2. Are treated with respect, consideration, and dignity;
  3. Are provided timely information about available trainings to improve skills in the daily care and in meeting the special needs of foster children;
  4. Are provided information on support systems for foster and adoptive parents;
  5. Are provided timely and adequate financial reimbursement for services provided as outlined in the  foster and adoptive home reimbursement section of this SOP chapter (SOP 12.24-12.32);
  6. Are provided resources available to meet the specific hair and skin care needs of each child placed in the home;
  7. May maintain their normal routines and values while respecting the federally protected cultural, religious, and confidentiality rights of the foster child placed in the foster and adoptive home;
  8. Upon request, are provided information on how to obtain their Provide case file through an open records request as described in SOP 30.11 CPS Open Records Request and Disclosure of Information;  
  9. Are provided with all information regarding any child placed in their home that may jeopardize the health or safety of any member of the foster family's household, including other foster children placed in the home, as outlined in KRS 605.090(1)(b); 1
  10. May refuse placement of any foster child without fear of reprisal;
  11. May request removal of a foster child from the home without reprisal as outlined in the DPP-111A  Foster and Adoptive Home Contract Supplement;
  12. May, with appropriate informed consent as outlined in SOP 1.17 Informed Consent and Release of Information, communicate with other professionals who work directly with the foster child, including but not limited to teachers, therapists, and health care practitioners; 2  
  13. Are provided an explanatory notice within fourteen (14) business days of the following items, except in the immediate response to a CPS investigation involving the foster and adoptive home:
    1. Change in the foster child's case plan;
    2. Change of placement; or
    3. Termination of placement;
  14. Have the right to participate in the development of the child's case plan;
  15. Are provided, when in the best interest of the child, priority placement consideration of a foster child who has been previously placed in the foster and adoptive home;
  16. Are provided, when in the best interest of the child, priority placement consideration of a foster child is eligible for adoption;
  17. May maintain contact with the foster child after the child leaves the foster home, unless any of the following object:
    1. The child;
    2. The biological parent(s);
    3. The other foster and adoptive home parent(s) where the child now resides; or
    4. The Cabinet (if retaining custody);
  18. Have the right to access Cabinet staff twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week when a child is placed in the foster and adoptive home to address crisis problems. 3

Practice Guidance

Expectations of Foster and Adoptive Homes Providing Foster Care Services

  • Unless specified in a contract between the Cabinet and a child welfare agency that provides foster care services, a foster and adoptive home parent only accepts a child for foster care from the Cabinet.

Foster and Adoptive Parents:

  • Provide temporary supplemental care to a child and prepare the child for movement into a permanent home;
  • Participate in case planning conferences concerning a child placed by the Cabinet;
  • Cooperate with the implementation of the permanency goal established for a child placed by the Cabinet;
  • Provide structure and daily activities designed to provide affection and promote the individual physical, social, intellectual, spiritual and emotional development of the children in their home. This may include:
    • Approving developmentally and age-appropriate opportunities for activities, which stimulate the growth and development of the child;
    • Assisting the children to develop skills and to perform tasks, which will promote independence and the ability to care for themselves;
    • Cooperating with the Cabinet to help the children maintain an awareness of their past, a record of the present, and a plan for the future; and
    • Work responsibilities reasonable for the child’s age and ability and commensurate with those expected of the foster and adoptive family’s own children; and
    • Selecting short term babysitters, for periods of twenty-four (24 ) hours or less, as outlined in SOP 4.30, Normalcy for Children in Out of Home Care.
  • Are to review and sign the DPP-1291 Foster and Adoptive Home Discipline Policy Agreement;
  • Should recognize that most children in out-of-home care have been abused, neglected, emotionally maltreated, or sexually exploited;
  • Can expect that some children may anticipate harsh treatment based on previous life experiences and may misbehave to test the boundaries.
  • Are expected to use the discipline techniques described in pre-service family preparation training process. Appropriate discipline considers the age and developmental needs of the child;
  • May not:
    • Use any form of corporal punishment;
    • Deny food, shelter, or clothing;
    • Interfere with implementation of the child’s case plan;
    • Deny visits or contact with family members;
    • Have the child engage in extremely strenuous work or exercise; or
    • Act in bizarre, severe, cruel or humiliating ways (e.g. verbal abuse, derogatory remarks to the child or about the child’s family, or make threats of removal from the foster home);
  • Treat all children placed into a foster and adoptive home with dignity;
  • Arrange for respite care services as described in SOP 12.12 Respite Care;
  • Are to cooperate with the Cabinet in planning for the medical and dental care needs of the child by:
    • Scheduling appointments as needed;
    • Keeping immunizations current;
    • Reporting to Cabinet all encounters with medical providers and any corrective or follow-up medical or dental care the child needs;
    • Maintaining the medical passport, as outlined in SOP 4.26.1 Medical Passport with all medical information relating to the health history and on-going medical care of the child;
    • Assisting the Department for Protection and Permanency (DPP) in obtaining an initial health screening within forty-eight (48) hours of placement of the child; and
    • Assisting DPP in transporting children to necessary health-related (e.g. mental health, medical, dental, vision) appointments as needed;
  • Are to give a child’s prescribed medications, as described above, only with a physician’s prescription or authorization, and are to dispense the exact amount of any medication prescribed for a child by a physician or dentist and may not stop medication without a physician’s orders. Prescription medication disposal is documented on the DPP-106H Medication Administration History as applicable; 
  • Facilitate the delivery of medical care to a child placed by the Cabinet as needed, including:
    • Administration of medication to the child and daily documentation of the medication’s administration on the DPP-106H Medication Administration History form. Due to the potential severity of any adverse reaction, ALL medications (over-the-counter and prescription) are documented on this form;
    • Annual physicals and examinations for the child;
  • Are to inform the agency within one (1) working day of any psychotropic medication prescribed for a child;
  • Is to treat personal or protected health information shared by the Cabinet concerning a child placed by the Cabinet, or the child’s birth family, in a confidential manner, disclosing confidential information only to personnel who are directly assisting the child (e.g. worker, mental health professionals, school counselor, etc.);
  • Cooperate with the Cabinet when a contact is arranged by Cabinet staff between a child placed by the Cabinet and the child’s birth family including:
    • Visits;
    • Telephone calls; or
    • Mail;
  • Supports and promotes family connections for children in their care including the involvement of fathers and their family members. Attachment should be promoted through:
    • Regular and frequent visitation with all family members as outlined in SOP 4.17 Visitation Agreement;
    • Phone calls;
    • Mail; and
    • Inclusion of the parent in other various activities in which the child is involved;
  • Provide positive processing of all contact (phone, visitation, etc.) with family members, including fathers;
  • Support an assessment of the service needs of a child placed by the Cabinet;
  • Encourage family connections through their assistance in developing the child’s Lifebook;  
  • May make decisions regarding haircuts and hairstyles for foster children if the foster and adoptive home parents have cared for a child for more than thirty (30) days or the child’s parents/caretaker have had their rights terminated (TPR) by the court unless the Cabinet determines that the child's religion, race, ethnicity, or national origin prevents it;
  • Ensures with the R&C worker that the foster child does not meet special circumstances for religious, ethnic,  or cultural exemption.  For example, in Native American and certain Apostolic Christian faiths, cutting the hair may be a violation of their religious rights and cultural traditions;
  • Are to provide well-balanced daily meals and are encouraged to eat together as a family.
  • Are to have snacks available for children, and are to provide for any special dietary needs of children placed in their home;
  • Maintains a record of clothing expenditures;
  • Are to provide each child with their own clean, well-fitting, attractive and seasonal clothing appropriate to age, sex and individual needs, and comparable to the clothing of their own children and community standards. The children should be included in the choosing of their own clothing when possible;
  • Are to allow children to bring and acquire personal belongings;
  • Send all personal age-appropriate clothing and belongings with the children when they leave the foster and adoptive home;
  • Are to establish and enforce age-appropriate curfews for adolescents;
  • Ensure that children under age thirteen (13) are not to be left without responsible supervision; 4
  • Are to:
    • Ensure that a child in the custody of the Cabinet provides the child’s designated per diem allowance for the child’s discretionary spending at the rate set by the Cabinet in the foster home contract; and
    • Encourage children to establish savings accounts;
  • Are NOT to:
    • Demand that allowance money be spent on family activities initiated by the foster and adoptive home parents; or
    • Accept any part of a child’s earned or unearned income without prior, written agreement of Cabinet and the child;
  • Provide opportunities for development consistent with the child or child’s families religious, ethnic,  and cultural heritage, the foster and adoptive home parent is to:
    • Recognize, encourage and support the religious beliefs, ethnic heritage and language of a child and the child’s family;
    • Arrange transportation (whenever possible) to religious services or ethnic events for a child whose beliefs and practices are different from their own;
  • Are not to coerce or force children to participate in religious activities or ethnic events against their will or beliefs;
  • Enroll each child of school age in school within three days of the placement of the child (exceptions may be made by the FSOS);
  • Cooperate with Cabinet in the selection and arrangements for educational programs appropriate for the child’s age, abilities, and case plan;
  • Problem-solve (with school personnel) when there are any problems with the child in school;
  • Obtain SRA or designee approval to enroll a child in a state or federally accredited home school or a private school and not in public school;
  • Report to the SSW or R&C worker any serious situations that may require their involvement;
  • Provide opportunities and transportation for recreational activities, which are appropriate to the age and abilities of the child, and are to encourage children to take part in community services and activities both with the family and on their own;
  • Present a positive image of the child’s family to the child;
  • Demonstrate respect for the child’s own family;
  • Agree to work with the child’s family members as indicated in the child’s case plan; and
  • Participate in the development of the visitation agreement and allow children and their family members to visit and communicate in accordance with the visitation agreement;
  • Permit Cabinet staff to visit the child;
  • Provide the SSW with all pertinent information about a child placed in their home by the Cabinet;
  • Provide independent living soft skills for a child age twelve (12) and older;
  • Surrender a child to the authorized representative of the Cabinet upon request;
  • Comply with the general supervision and direction of the Cabinet concerning the care of a child placed by the Cabinet;
  • Report immediately to the Cabinet if there is a:
    • Change of address;
    • Medical condition, accident or death of  a child placed by the Cabinet;
    • Change in the number of people living in the home;
    • Significant change in circumstance in the foster and adoptive home such as:
      • Income loss;
      • Marital separation; or
      • Other household stressors;
    • An absence without official leave (AWOL);
    • A suicide attempt; or
    • Criminal activity by the child requiring notification of law enforcement;
  • Notify the Cabinet when:
    • Leaving the state with a child placed by the Cabinet for more than twenty-four (24) hours;
    • A child placed by the Cabinet is to be absent from the foster and adoptive home for more than twenty-four (24) hours;
  • Notify the Cabinet at least fourteen (14) calendar days in advance of the home's intent to become certified to provide foster care or adoption services through a private child-placing agency in accordance with 922 KAR 1:310;
  • Report suspected incidents of child abuse, neglect, and exploitation in accordance with KRS 620.030.
  • Have a right to attend and have a right to be heard in, either verbally or in writing, any cabinet or court proceeding in regards to the child.  It should be noted that a pre-permanency planning conference is not a cabinet proceeding but rather an attorney-client confidential meeting.


  1. Typically, this information will be provided to the foster and adoptive home parents during a Request case placement and 111A-Foster and Adoptive Home Contract Supplement process.  An R&C staff discloses any related information not already known to the foster and adoptive home parent.
  2. Cabinet staff, upon request, provides assistance to the foster and adoptive home parent in obtaining informed consents and release of information.
  3. The foster and adoptive parent is provided with a working telephone number for the on call SSW for after-hours situations at all times. 
  4. The Cabinet may require adult supervision of the developmentally disabled child age thirteen (13) and over at all times as a part of the child’s case plan.


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