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I'm having problems with foster care services in my state. What should I do?

Child Welfare
Foster Care


If you have questions about the way in which your local foster care agency handled your case, you may want to begin by discussing your concerns with your caseworker and the agency supervisor. An open discussion will often help answer your questions.

If you have made every effort to resolve your concerns with the local agency staff and the issue remains unresolved, you may consider discussing your case with your State Foster Care Program Manager, an expert in foster care policy in each state.

Child Welfare Information Gateway, a service of the Children's Bureau, provides a listing of State Foster Care Program Managers.

Child welfare departments designate specific offices to monitor the delivery of services and to receive and investigate customer complaints. When a grievance cannot be resolved at the local level, in most states, you may also have the option to contact the child welfare ombudsman. Some states have a specific ombudsman whom oversees grievances related to foster care services. State contact information may also be found in the related listing provided on the Information Gateway website.

A general overview of the steps that parents/caregivers may take to resolve their differences with a service provider may be found in the Information Gateway factsheet for families From Complaint to Resolution: Understanding the Child Welfare Grievance Process.

Finally, your State Foster Parent Association/Coalition may also be of assistance. You may visit the Information Gateway website for specific information.

Last Reviewed: May 9, 2019