Foster Parent Bill Of Rights (11-21)


The following legislation was enacted by the Tennessee General Assembly in 1997: An Act to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 37, Chapter 2, Part 4, relative to foster care and to enact the "Foster Parent Rights Act."


(11) The department shall inform the foster parent(s) of scheduled meetings and staffing, concerning the foster child, and the foster parent(s) shall be permitted to actively participate in the case planning and decision-making process regarding the child in foster care. This may include individual service planning meetings, foster care reviews, and individual educational planning meetings;


(12) The department shall inform a foster parent(s) of decisions made by the courts or the child welfare agency concerning the child;


(13) The department shall solicit the input of a foster parent(s) concerning the plan of services for the child; this input shall be considered in the department's ongoing development of the plan;


(14) The department shall permit, through written consent, the ability of the foster parent(s) to communicate with professionals who work with the foster child, including any therapists, physicians and teachers that work directly with the child;


(15) The department shall provide all information regarding the child and the child's family background and health history, in a timely manner to the foster parent(s) The foster parent(s) shall receive additional or necessary information, that is relevant to the care of the child, on an ongoing basis; provided that confidential information received by the foster parents shall be maintained as such by the foster parents, except as necessary to promote or protect the health and welfare of the child;


(16) The department shall provide timely, written notification of changes in the case plan or termination of the placement and the reasons for the changes or termination of placement to the foster parent(s), except in the instances of immediate response for child protective services;


(17) The department shall notify the foster parent(s), in a complete manner, of all court hearings. This notification may include, but is not limited to, notice of the date and time of the court hearing, the name of the judge or hearing officer hearing the case, the location of the hearing, and the court docket number of the case. Such notification shall be made upon the department's receiving of this information, or at the same time that notification is issued to birth parents. The foster parent(s) shall be permitted to attend such hearings at the discretion of the court;


(18) The department shall provide, upon request by the foster parent(s), information regarding the child's progress after a child leaves foster care. Information provided pursuant to this subsection shall only be provided from information already in possession of the department at the time of the request;


(19) The department shall provide the foster parent(s) the training for obtaining support and information concerning a better understanding of the rights and responsibilities of the foster parent(s);


(20) The department shall consider the foster parent(s) as the possible first choice permanent parents for the child, who after being in the foster parent's home for twelve (12) months, becomes free for adoption or permanent foster care;


(21) The department shall consider the former foster family as a placement option when a foster child who was formerly placed
with the foster parent(s) is to be re-entered into foster care;