Advice to Caseworkers from Youth
We asked young people in foster care to offer advice to caseworkers. This is what they said.
How to Have A Positive Relationship with Young People in Foster Care
- Get to know us as a person.
- Find out what we like.
- Know us as a person and not just what you see on court papers.
- Always treat us as a real person with feelings and emotions and not as another case.
Show us you care
- Make us feel important – know our names.
- See us more than once a month.
- Never treat us in a way that we feel that you don’t care because we will only model that behavior and the relationship will be lost.
Communicate with us
- Return our calls.
- Listen, listen, listen, listen more.
- Answer our questions.
- Be consistent in time and effort.
- Focus on helping us, not being our friend. Be on time and do your job on time.
- Follow through on your responsibilities.
Be honest and reliable
- Don’t hide information from us and don’t sugarcoat situations.
- Don’t make promises you do not plan on keeping.
- Be the one person we can trust to tell the truth, be willing to talk to and be completely open with.
Help us to be our best
- Encourage us to keep moving forward in life.
- Motivate us and give us hope that we can make it coming out of something like foster care.
- Don’t give up on us – “stay in the fight.”
- Give us dreams. Respect us. Reward us. Support us.