Ohio Voice For Foster Parents
This site is devoted to the needs of those involved in providing care, foster, kinship, respite, and adoptive homes.


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Know the Law and Rules

Foster care is a service, not a job, a service we provide to those on sometype of out of home placement.  First, it is not the fault of the foster parent. It is ok to tell the youth the parents it is NOT my fault. Some parents and many kids place blame others, they are in foster care. 

There is a need for a Foster Parent to understand the laws and rules, dealing with foster care, if a rule is right or wrong that is up to a judge and a lot of lawyers to sort out not the foster parents.

As a foster parent you need to understand your duties and your rights.   Know what is required and necessary training to become or recertification for foster caregivers.

Ohio does not have a bill of rights for foster parents, there is a major debate as to if we need foster parent group of rights.  This is not a debate on that issue, rather a list of Ohio Laws and Rules  that pertain to Foster Care - Kinship placement and Respite Care. 

Regardless, as a foster parent we do get attached to the  youth that comes in to our homes, we do love them.  To have one removed hurts and there is that need to check on, to keep in touch, to be there for them after they have moved on in their life.  Often this is not allowed, often foster parents are left out.

To open a law book up and start reading is not as easy, and if your looking for something  it is not that easy  to find a single point, unless your a lawyer.   This page is written in a topical manner, the links are to pages of the Ohio law and or rules.

Reviewing several pages of Ohio Laws and Rules, where to start, so it has  turned in to topics we all have or will face - Use of tobacco by youth in foster care. The law is  the law.  If you have a foster child convicted or some crimes you must report.

Ohio laws and  rules protect foster parents if they report or make complaints about those involved in foster care.  Handling complaints take time and the protect covers others involved as those named in a complaint.  Limited qualified immunity for Foster Caregivers.

Each agency is required to have policies, plans and procedures. and on  the business side each

An agency shall have written policies that shall be explained to potential foster caregivers during initial orientation for all of the following:
(a) Liability insurance and compensation for damages done by children placed in foster care.
(b) Legal representation, legal fees, counseling or legal advocacy for foster caregivers for matters directly related to the proper performance of their roles.
(c) Investigations of abuse and/or neglect involving a child living in a foster home.

The rules and duties of a Foster Care Giver, as a foster care giver you must know what is required of YOU.  In reading this link there are several sections, each has duties YOU must understand.   As the foster care giver You are a member of the care and treatment team. You can be and need to be a part of every meeting or hearing for youth in your home.  If you wish to be a party, you will need to review that with some legal service being part of and a party two are different.

In the Requirements link there are several topics,  Record keeping,  Sleeping arrangements, meals,  health care services, Alternative care arrangements, Care, supervision and discipline, Under 2 years old, Socialization and education, Site and safety requirements for a foster home, Foster home can not be licensed as any other type of home,  time required for some events Required notification, transportation.

The rules on the number of kids in a foster home has been updated, we can not take them all in and each must have their space.

The links to the pages are copied right from the On Line Ohio Revised Code and Administrative Code.   The text in Red or bold print are comments, observations as to those laws, it is not the only view but one view.

The County Agencies Liability Insurance coverage, County Commissioners  and the private agencies.  The word may is used not shall so it is a topic that is open, and there is no standard dollar amount stated.

3109.09 Liability of parents for willful damage of property or Theft by their children.   Foster kids tears up your house, not the broken window in horse play, this is goes off and creates major damage.   3109.10 is if he or she causes bodily harm, causes injury to a foster parents.

5101.27 Restricting disclosure of information regarding public assistance recipients.

5101.30 Rules for conditions and procedures for the release of information.

Ohio law states the differ types of Foster Homes, knowing the difference is upon the Foster Parents - so they can educate the Case workers.  5103.02 Placement of children definitions.

5103.0317  Limit of children in foster home.

5103.0318 Applicability of zoning laws. This section might be used if you have others in the area, that object to foster home in the area, while the landlord should be asked if there is a lease condition.

What information about a youth are you to know, up front information, some information must be presented, You do not have to ask, it has to be provided   Child History    Child Convictions    Family Visits

In most court hearings you can be a part of the hearing but not a party to the hearing you can speak offer information present evidence you live with the youth, you can plan the  case worker visits.

There is a risk of youth in some type of foster care disruptions  and moving youth from foster homes does happen.  Having a safety plan and a what will work plan does offer some help in dealing with youth that have had issues in the past. 

Youth Life Books are necessary for youth in foster care rules states that a life book needs to be started in 12 months from placement and update every six months, a copy of their shot records is part of their life book.


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