Code of Ethics for Foster Parents



The mission of the National Foster Parent Association is to support foster parents in achieving safety, well-being, and permanency for the infants, children, and youth in their care commensurate with the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act passed in 1980, and the Adoptions and Safe Families Act passed in 1997. The Code of Ethics for Foster Parents begins by emphasizing that family foster care is an integral component of the child welfare system which:

  • Recognizes the rights of children and youth to safe, nurturing relationships, intended to last a lifetime;
  • Assists parents to regain custody or make alternative plans, intended to be permanent, for their children and youth;
  • Emphasizes the developmental needs of children and youth
  • Provides each child or youth with a foster parent and social worker who have the skills to support the child or youth’s safety, developmental, and permanency needs, and provide foster parents and social workers with the supports necessary to develop and use these skills;
  • Designs family foster care as a part of a comprehensive, coordinated, inter-disciplinary service delivery system;
  • Provides legal representation to ensure timely and skillful responses to case plans involving court proceedings;
  • Collects, analyzes, and disseminates accurate and relevant data about children, youth, and their families leading to informed policies, programs, and practices; and
  • Supports family foster care – and all child welfare services – with effective and accountable leadership in city halls, governors’ offices, national organizations, the judiciary, the federal government, Congress, and the White House (National Commission on Family Foster Care, 1991, p. 5).