Placement Questions

These are some of the questions you might want to ask at the time you are called regarding the placement of a child.  Some are more related to older children some more to younger children.  It is good for adoptive parents to go through this list together and decide which ones are most important to you and add any questions that are pertinent to you own situation.  Have them prepared and readily accessible for when you get the phone call about a potential placement.

  1. What is the child’s birth date?
  2. What is the legal status of the child?
  3. What is the child’s history?
  4. What is the child’s family situation? Name of parents?
  5. What family contact is allowed?
  6. How are family visit arrangements made?
  7. What is the child’s understanding of the reason he or she is in foster care?
  8. How many placements has the child had?
  9. What types of placements and where did he/she do best?
  10. Why was the child moved from each placement?
  11. Are there siblings? Where? Birth dates? Contact plan?
  12. What services are involved with the family and this child?
  13. What is my role to be in those services?
  14. Is there anyone with whom the child cannot have contact?
  15. Has the child been sexually abused? When? How often? In what way?
  16. Has the child been sexually reactive on others?
  17. Is the child on medication? If so, what and why?
  18. What is the child’s current medical diagnosis?
  19. What is the child’s past medical diagnosis?
  20. Does the child have any allergies?
  21. When was the last physical? Dental?
  22. Does the child have a medical card?
  23. Is it likely that the child will be able to live independently as an adult?
  24. Where is the child currently (foster home, residential treatment facility, etc.)?
  25. Does the child attach to others?
  26. Does the child have behavioral problems? If so, what?
  27. How does the child act when angry?
  28. Does the child have mental health issues?
  29. Did the parents or other family members have mental illness or other major illness? Is there any indication that the child will have the same illnesses?
  30. Does the child see a counselor? How often? Would you want a school counselor or other therapist?
  31. Does the child have educational issues? Is he on an IEP? If so, for what?
  32. Does/will the child currently attend school in a regular classroom or a special needs room?
  33. How does the child behave at school?
  34. If the child is not yet legally free for adoption, what is the current status? How long will that process take? What is the likelihood of adoption?
  35. Who is the child’s attorney? Guardian ad litem?
  36. Who is the child’s ongoing worker? When will he/she contact me?
  37. Does this child need clothing?
  38. Is there a clothing allowance available? How much?
  39. What do you want me to do in event of an emergency? What after hours phone number do I use? What is the on-call phone number? What is you supervisor’s name? Phone number?
  40. What are your (social worker’s) expectations of me (foster parent) in caring for this child?
  41. Is there anything else I need to know?