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What Happens If a Foster Parent Breaks the Rules

What Happens If a Foster Parent Breaks the Rules

The foster care system has a set of rules that foster parents are required to follow. Many people inclusive of the child’s birth parents wonder what happens if a foster parent breaks the rules. Although these rules vary with state, they all have a similar set of repercussions in case the rules are broken.

So, what happens if a foster parent breaks the rules? In one way or another, a foster parent may end up breaking a rule if not rules. This can be intentional or accidental without the knowledge of actually doing it. When a foster parent breaks the rules, one of three things can happen. First, you will be required to take part in a corrective action plan. Second, you might be suspended from the program. Finally, you might be asked to leave the program for good. The nature of your mistake and its impact is what determines the severity of the actions that will be taken.

What Happens If a Foster Parent Breaks the Rules

Briefly let’s have a look at each of the three possible outcomes

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 Taking a corrective action plan

This is the least severe outcome for breaking foster parenting rules. What happens is that you will be required to participate in a corrective action plan. During the process, you will be provided with a set of rules and reminded of the existing ones. You will be required to follow these rules to the letter.

After following the set rules to satisfaction, then you will be allowed to continue being a foster parent.


Just like the meaning of the term, you will temporarily not be able to foster a child. This can be a couple of days, weeks, or even months depending on what exactly you did. Mostly, this happens if you have broken the rule repeatedly.

What Happens If a Foster Parent Breaks the Rules

Fostering a child when you are on suspension attracts a more severe action since you will be doing it against the set directives. During the suspension period, it’s important to behave as expected because misbehaving during this period can prompt the next and more severe outcome.

Separation from the Program

While in the program, keep in mind you are in a contract that can be terminated by either party. This happens when a foster parent has broken the rules repeatedly and does not change even after corrective action has been taken.

When you break the rules of the foster program, your agency has the right to terminate that contract. This means you will no longer be able foster children. This is not just in the present time, but also in the future. That is why this is the most severe outcome of breaking the rules.

Other Outcomes When Foster Rules are Broken 

These are the outcomes that often take place, especially for first-time rule breakers. It’s assumed that you did it unintentionally and hence the outcome is less severe. It’s more of a corrective action plan.

Going Over the Rules 

After breaking the rules of the foster program, you will be might be introduced to the foster parenting topic from the start. Also, you will be made aware of the rules of the particular state and their importance. The goal of the intervention is to make sure you are aware of the rules and do follow them as expected.

What Happens If a Foster Parent Breaks the Rules

What is expected from you as a foster parent will also be discussed.

Foster Parent Contract Overview 

The foster parent contract contains extensive details concerning foster care. At times, it can be seen as a foster parenting manual. When you break the rules, you will be provided with an overview of the contract and the benefits of abiding by its terms highlighted. Such an overview assists in addressing areas that might have been initially skipped.

Discussing Consequences of Breaking the Rules 

Information is power and it would be for the best if a foster parent is reminded or informed of the consequences of breaking the rules. Being informed of such consequences keep a foster parent in the know of what will happen next if the rules are broken. This also applies to breaking the terms of the contract.  

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Offering Advice to Foster Parents 

This comes in addition to being informed about the consequences of breaking the rules. Here, advice how to avoid breaking the rules and staying in compliance with the contract is offered to you. Also, the specific area or case in which you as a foster parent broke the rules and its consequences is discussed, and ways or tips of avoiding the same provided.

Offering Suggestions 

At times, the process can take another level or direction and be requested to offer suggestions. These are suggestions on how foster parents can better adhere to the rules as well as maintain foster child safety and well-being.

Final Thoughts 

What happens if a foster parent breaks the rules entirely depends on the state where the foster parent lives. Also, it depends on what the foster care contract states about the case. A corrective action plan, suspension, and termination from the program are the common outcomes in all the states and foster care agencies.


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