< Back to Search

Foster Care Frequently Asked Question #5

Published: September 16, 2012
Topics:
Foster Care

Question:

I’m having problems with foster care services in my State.  What should I do?

Answer:

Whenever there are problems with the local child welfare agency, the best policy is to try to resolve the issues through an open discussion with the caseworker and/or the agency supervisor. 

If you have made every effort to resolve your concerns with the local agency staff and you feel that your concerns have not been adequately addressed, you may want to ask if the agency has an appeal procedure or an ombudsman. Many agencies have ombudsmen to help clients resolve differences with the agency. (The names of these offices vary and may include “Ombudsperson,” “Ombudsman,” “Ombuds Specialist,” or the Child Welfare Complaints Office.) 

If the agency does not have an appeal procedure or an ombudsman, you may decide to contact the State Foster Care Program Manager. The State Foster Care Program Manager is the administrator who has oversight responsibility for all foster care services provided to children in the custody of the State and is the key point of contact for concerns regarding foster care programs that cannot be resolved by other existing procedures. If you would like to take your concerns to this level, you can find contact information for all of the States’ Foster Care Program Managers in the listing on Child Welfare Information Gateway’s website at http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/reslist/rl_dsp.cfm?typeID=10&rat.... It is best to contact the agency foster care program manager only after other problem resolution procedures have been tried.

While the Children’s Bureau is the Federal agency that allocates funds to State agencies to provide for child welfare services, including foster care, the administration of these services is under the jurisdiction of the State and local agencies and courts.