Foster Parent Kinship Caregiver FAQs

Your completed and signed form should be sent to the child’s assigned worker. Always keep a copy of your signed document, should you need it for reference. You can submit this form by postal mail, e-mail, or personally at the office. If you submit the form via e-mail, request the child’s worker to send a response to confirm he/she has received it. If you submit the form directly at the office, ask the receptionist to date stamp it and provide you a copy.

Under the Prudent Parent Law and policy, you can take your foster child with you on a trip or vacation lasting up to 72 hours without approval by the worker or agency. If you are planning a longer vacation, you will need to obtain approval through the worker. Some vacation plans require court approval, especially if the child will miss scheduled visits with their parent(s) or siblings. Missed visits with the parents will need to be made up. If you are traveling out of state, or out of the country notify the child’s worker as soon as you begin your plans to ensure there is adequate time to obtain all necessary approvals and/or court orders. Read the Prudent Parent Guidelines

Make a list of any questions you have for the caseworker. They might include: 

  • The current status of the permanent plan.

  • Upcoming meetings/staffings/court hearings/appointments that you or the child or youth might want to attend, the visitation schedule and transportation arrangements.

  • Respite needs and pending reimbursements related to mileage, respite and child care.

You can help by sharing:

  • Information about how the child is doing in your home, school, childcare or other settings;

  • Strengths and needs of the child and concerns you have;

  • Your need for information about the child;

  • Services the child may need;

  • Support services you might need: training, support groups, recruitment and retention liaison contact, foster parent FaceBook groups, etc.

Under the Prudent Parenting Law and policy, you have the authority to make this decision to allow the child to participate in normal childhood activities. As with your own children, careful and thoughtful parental decisions should be utilized when deciding whether to allow a child should participate or not.

After you have turned in all necessary documents to request reimbursement to the assigned case worker, 30 days is adequate time to allow our fiscal staff to process the reimbursement. It also helps to notify the child’s assigned case worker by email or a phone call that you are submitting a reimbursement. Always remember to keep a copy of your receipt and any paperwork provided with your reimbursement request.

If you’ve have left a message for the supervisor but still haven’t been contacted within two – three business days, you can speak with the Area Administrator (AA). If the AA has not responded within two to three business days you can contact the Deputy Regional Administrator (DRA). The AA and DRAs’ contact information is on the staff directory on our website: https://fortress.wa.gov/dshs/ca/employeedirectory. The office receptionist can also connect you to the right person.

Another resource to you is the regional fiduciary; this person handles the processing of all financial paperwork for the region. The fiduciary can be contacted at any point after you have contacted the child’s assigned worker and have not received a response. The office receptionist can direct your call to the fiduciary.

Yes, if you have not received a reimbursement for in response to your request within 30 days and you have tried to reach the case worker. If you need help locating the supervisor’s contact information, the staff directory is on our website: https://fortress.wa.gov/dshs/ca/employeedirectory.

You would submit a completed and signed Caregiver Monthly Mileage form for allowable mileage reimbursement. Click on the link for quick access to the form. You can also request a paper copy from the assigned worker. The form is also included in the Caregiver Placement Packet you received when the child was placed with you.

Most purchases made by caregivers for a foster child (camps, sports, sports equipment, etc.) require prior approval from the assigned case worker. Exceptions can be made for emergencies such as a child’s placement on a Friday night when the child comes with little or no clothing and no clothing voucher. Clothing vouchers per the clothing voucher policy are only authorized for up to $200 per child. If you purchase something on an emergency basis, provide the original receipts and any other documentation showing your cost and payments to the child’s case worker for reimbursement. Also remember to keep copies of your receipts and your monthly mileage forms.

DCYF policy identifies three types of respite care:

  • Retention Respite – respite days earned on a monthly basis when caring for a dependent child. Paid by DCYF
  • Child Specific Respite – tied to the medical, behavioral or special needs of an individual child. Paid by DCYF
  • Exchange Respite – planned and negotiated between licensed caregivers and does not include payment of DCYF funds.

Under the Prudent Parent Law, foster parents now may also arrange for the foster child to spend the night away from the foster home for up to 72 hours with someone known to the foster parent. Foster parents must ensure the needs of the child will be met and any safety and supervision plans are followed. The Prudent Parenting law does not require payment for short term care of up to 72 hours. However, if a foster parent makes arrangements for the child and agrees to pay the alternate caregiver for short term care, the expenses are paid by the foster parent.