Child Welfare

Understanding visits with birth parents

You may have wondered about visits between foster kids and their biological families. At Beacon Fostering, this is a topic we get asked about regularly.

In this short article, we’ll run through the importance of these visits, the processes associated with them and how to make visits go smoothly.

Visits with birth parents are crucial for children in foster care. They help maintain family connections and can ease the transition if reunification becomes possible.

Visits allow parents to demonstrate their ability to care for the child. For the child, they provide reassurance that they can have a relationship with their parents.

Visits typically start with brief supervised meetings, often held at a child welfare agency office or other neutral location. As the case progresses, visits may become longer and potentially move to less restrictive settings, like the parent’s home. Visitation plans are often determined by the case or court worker, based on safety considerations.

As a foster parent, your role is to facilitate and support these visits, not undermine them. We recommend using a positive tone when discussing visits with the child, and never making negative comments about the birth parents in front of the child.

Afterwards, you should be available to address any issues the child may want to discuss, passing them useful observations.

Transitions from visits can be difficult for children. Have a calming activity ready, and use empathy and patience if the child is struggling with emotions.

Do you have questions about visits with biological parents? Ask the friendly team at Beacon Fostering today.