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Session 13/15

Page 2/5 The child's need for contact with biological parents and agreement between parents and foster care family

The child’s need for contact with biological parents and agreement between parents and foster family


Children in foster care have two families: their family of origin and their foster family.
Research in foster care shows that there are two important goals you should work to accomplish:

  • Children in foster care tend to do poorly in life if they lose all contact with their biological family while staying in foster care. In particular at the end of foster care, foster children often have no-one to turn to except their family of origin. If they had no contact with their parents during their stay in foster care, they may lose even this relation.
  • The more agreement and respect you can create between your foster family and the biological parents, the more the child will feel secure: play, explore and learn. If you are in conflict with the biological parents – or show disrespect towards them – the child will feel insecure and it will suffer from not having a secure base.

This is one of the most difficult tasks for foster parents: sharing a child with others who are unable to care for their own child. Why is this so difficult? Let us look at why children are placed in foster care, and what is typical of the biological parents’ situation, and then look at methods for managing contact with parents.