5 Things to Expect as a Foster Parent

Being a foster parent can be a rewarding and exciting experience. It can also be unnerving, challenging, and emotionally taxing. In other words, it’s rather like parenting…. but so much more! As foster parents, we want to treat our foster children with the same level of care and love that we treat our biological or…

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Census, Taxes, and Birth Certificates (Oh My!)

There are some nitty gritty logistics to deal with as foster and adoptive parents that can be a little confusing. What we’re most often asked about is: census, taxes, birth certificates, and social security numbers. Here’s what you need to know: Census Forms Yes, you should count your foster children on your census. No, they…

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Open Adoption Agreements

Indeed, many cases resolve before trial, either days or weeks or months before, or on the first day of trial, with a parent or parents’ agreement to “surrender” or “sign,” meaning they agree to voluntarily give up their parental rights to the child. This typically is done when there is a plan for the child…

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Supports Available for Foster Families in Western MA

Foster and adoptive families have access to various types of resources and supports that help to meet the needs of children. Supports and resources that are available in the area are constantly changing. If there is something you need that is not listed here, contact us and we can provide additional referrals.  Family Resource Liaison…

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Birth Parents’ Rights and Children’s Rights

The right to parent is a sacred one in our society and we don’t take it away from people lightly. Our current child welfare and legal systems are set up to protect parents’ rights to parent their children and to ensure that parents have every opportunity to preserve that right if it is temporarily taken…

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The Role of Foster Parents in Court

The foster parent is not a party to the case, meaning the foster parent has no right to participate directly in it through an attorney. The foster parent may, however, be a witness in the case, called by DCF’s or the child’s attorney. By statute, foster parents have some limited rights: to notice of any…

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Understanding the Court Process

There are a number of different court meetings, hearings, and trials that you will hear about as a foster parent. The most typical outcome of any particular day your child’s case is discussed or heard within the court system is…. Nothing. Most court dates are either check-ins for the court to briefly hear the status…

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Who’s Who In the Court Process

There is typically no shortage of attorneys of attorneys and other court personnel involved in a DCF case. Parents’ Attorneys Each birth parent will have his or her own attorney, because they may be in different positions with respect to their ability and availability to parent. This means there can be as few as one…

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Approaching Family Time (“Parent Child Visits”)

Children in foster care will start visiting with their birth family very soon after they enter care, sometimes as quickly as the next day. Typically, Family Time with birth parents will be supervised and held weekly for one hour at a DCF office. As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, family time has been increasingly…

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What Are All These DCF Meetings?

DCF’s practices and policies with regard to foster care can be complicated and idiosyncratic. These practices are not always standardized and can vary from office to office, or even social worker to social worker. However, there are a series of typical milestones that form the backbone of how a case moves through the foster care…

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