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Questions and Answers About Visiting Your Family while in foster care:
• Will I have visits with my family?
• How often will I visit with my family? Where will the visits be?
• I feel so awkward at family visits. What should I say or do?
• Will I be able to contact my other relatives?
• I really miss my brothers and sisters. How can I keep in touch with them?
• Why are my visits supervised? Will they always be?
Will I have visits with my family?
Answer: Your Family Case Manager (FCM) will arrange a Visitation Plan based on you and your parent/guardian/custodian’s safety. Visitation may be based on the reasons you entered foster care. Visitation can also be with other relatives, brothers and sisters and close friends.
How often will I visit with my family? Where will the visits be?
Answer: The number of visits is different for every kid in care. If visitation is safe for you and your parent/guardian/custodian, visits will happen at least once a week. How often you visit can be based on the distance you live from your family and everyone’s schedules. Visits should take place in a relaxed and natural setting such as community parks or a visitation center.
I feel so awkward at family visits what should I say or do?
Answer: At first family visits can be strange and awkward. It might help if you plan an activity for during the visit. Family and friends usually like to hear about the things you’ve been doing, but it might be hard to think of things on the spot. You might want to start a day by day journal to share with your family and friends on visit days.
Will I be able to contact my other relatives?
Answer: Tell your Family Case Manager (FCM) if there are other relatives you want to keep in touch with. But remember, the fact that you have been placed in foster care can bring up all kinds of feelings in other relatives. Some of them may actually feel guilty and think that they could have done something to help your situation sooner. Those feelings may lead some of your relatives to stay away. You may also keep in touch by phone and sending letters, photographs and cards.
I really miss my brothers and sisters. How can I keep in touch with them?
Answer: Ask your Family Case Manager (FCM) to help you keep in touch with your brothers and sisters. If visitation is safe for you and your siblings, visits may happen at least once a week. Remember to write letters or e-mails, and make phone calls.
Why are my visits supervised? Will they always be?
Answer: At first most visits are supervised so your Family Case Manager (FCM) can make sure you and your family is safe. Visits can be supervised by your FCM, foster parent, kinship caregiver, other relative, therapist, your Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) or Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) or another adult. If your visits go well and the goals of your Case Plan are being met, visits may change to unsupervised.