As a foster parent, are you expected to maintain a relationship with the biological parents during or after placement?
We have not had the experience of building a relationship with biological parents, but it does happen on occasion.
When we were getting licensed, we were in a training class and we watched a video about a biological mom who walked in on her at-the-time boyfriend abusing one of her children. Of course, when she called the police, the kids were removed from her home and placed in foster care. The foster family that was caring for her children was incredibly gracious and allowed the mom to visit. She was in a really tough, unfortunate situation that could happen to almost anyone, and yet, no one would argue that her kids should have been removed from this situation, temporarily. She was encouraged by her frequent visits with her kids and she received incredible support from the foster family. She was able to follow the court’s recommendations, and her children were able to come home.
This is a beautiful example of a healthy foster-biological relationship that provided support and encouragement in a temporary situation.
There are other cases, however, where a relationship with a biological family would be incredibly inappropriate, and therefore discouraged. There are even cases where the location of the child should be kept secret and would be dangerous for the biological family to find out.
Each situation is different, and each foster family should follow the lead of the case worker. The case workers have met and are familiar with the biological family and are aware of the best scenarios for the foster families. At this point, we have never been encouraged to build a relationship, but I can absolutely see that happening depending on the situation.