When we “graduated” from our foster parent training classes, we were given a few ugly photo copied versions of “icebreakers” to send with the kiddos on visits to their bio-family. We felt weird sending these on visits because they looked like bad photocopies of doctor forms, and seemed cold and impersonal. Initially, we purchased a cute notebook and used it to start a conversation with the bio-family, by “passing notes” in it on each visit. After multiple “notes” we realized that we wanted something that could be a keepsake. We also quickly learned after using these questionnaires that we were pronouncing our first kiddo’s name wrong! *
Please comment below with specific questions or themes you want to see in this series. Being able to have a healthy, open dialogue with the bio family can be an incredible benefit, and a solid relationship can allow the bio-family to be a part of your village, and help you care for the kiddo in a way that the family will appreciate. We have only been able to have an open dialogue with the bio-parents of our kiddos who were under three, so these sheets are based on our experiences and what we imagine a conversation would be like for the bios of our older children. It would have been nice to use these more aesthetically pleasing forms for our earlier and younger placements, as opposed to those cold, sterile forms provided by DHS during our training. We opted for the hand written journal, which worked well, but was a lot of effort. We hope these can be helpful for other foster parents in the future. Again, please comment below with questions or themes you would like to see on other pages/forms and we can create them.
*To be fair, the CW who had been our kiddos CW for over a year prior to her placement with us, had told us how to pronounce her name…wrong.
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