Role of a foster parent

Approximately one-third of children exiting foster care each year return to their parents' custody. Other outcomes include adoption, the transfer of custody to a relative, and emancipation.

Foster parents are a vital component to keeping children in foster care safe, and providing them with a nurturing environment as they navigate through temporary displacement. As a team, local departments of social services (LDSS) work with foster parents to support and implement plans made for a child in foster care.

This may involve working with biological parents, courts, local departments of social services and other involved agencies. Strong partnerships between birth parents, foster parents, LDSS, courts and other community partners are critical to achieving successful reunification and stability for children.

Should reunification not be possible, an adoptive home may be necessary and existing foster parents may be considered to adopt. In 2020, 858 children in Virginia were adopted from foster care.

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