As a foster parent, partnering effectively with DCF is incredibly important. Your relationship with the social workers on your case is the most significant contact you will have with the child welfare system. Understanding the relationship between you and DCF can make or break your experience. Browse the resources below, many of which are excerpts from AOK's Guidebook. It's 87 pages of information about navigating your role as a foster parent in Massachusetts, and a resource you will come back to again and again.
2023 Family Resource Policy Changes
In early 2023, DCF rolled out new policy that impacts the "Family Resource" team, the team that works directly with foster and preadoptive families. Family Resource Workers will now serve in one of three roles, whereas before they were doing all three simultaneously. This flyer from DCF explains the new policy and the changes to expect. You can also read more about the changes here: Introduction to the New Family Resource Policies and Positions.
- What to ask when DCF calls about a placement: AOK Checklist
- What to ask when DCF calls about a placement - FPA Checklist (lengthy)
- Before the social worker leaves, make sure...
- Why We Ask
Ongoing Contact with DCF
- Your role as a foster parent: Six things to know (AOK Guidebook Excerpt)
- How a case progresses through the foster care system (flowchart, AOK Guidebook Excerpt)
- Advocating for yourself - The DCF chain of command (flowchart, AOK Guidebook Excerpt)
Foster Care Review
- Foster parents' role in foster care reviews (AOK Guidebook Excerpt)
- Foster Care Review Determination Policy
- DCF Standards and Requirements for Licensure
- DCF Policies and Procedures
- Foster Parent Agreement
- DCF-Stated Foster Parent Responsibilities
- Child Placement Agreement
- Medical Passport
- (Birth) Family Assessment & Action Plan
- 51-A and Fair Hearing
- MA Foster Parent Bill of Rights
- Foster Parents’ Bill of Rights-More Information!
- Prudent Parenting
- Data - Number of children and foster families in the MA foster care system
- DCF List of contracted agencies (CFC)
- DCF - Foster Care & Adoption Frequently Asked Questions
- FosterMA Connect
- Financial Resources