The visit with a foster child’s probation officer is one of the facts of life that you will have to deal with if you have a foster child in your household. Make the visits less complicated and smoother flowing by following these steps.
- Get to know the basics about your probation officer. The visits should not come as a surprise to you. The first time you meet with the probation officer, you should already get to know the basics. Talk to the officer and get a backgrounder on how the scheme works, and how you can make the foster child’s stay easier for you. You can ask for professional advice on how to make life easier for the foster child, and ask information on how to interact with the foster child if you have never done it before.
- Prepare for the visit. You should take some effort into preparing for the foster child’s probation officer as well. For instance, you can create a list of the things that you want to discuss with the probation officer, so that important things to talk about will not slip past your mind during the actual visit. You can also note some changes in the foster child that you want to talk to the probation officer about. If the foster child is old enough, you can also allow him to create lists of things that he wants to discuss with the probation officer.
- Talk with your child. You should also give your child an idea of what will be talked about when the probation officer arrives. This will give the child the feeling that you are not cornering him. Sometimes, a foster child will feel surprised when a number of topics that he has not been informed of will be discussed with the probation officer. If you have certain personal issues that you will later open up to the probation officer, make sure that you also give your child a head’s up so that he will not feel betrayed. Keep in mind that the foster children can be understandably emotional especially with the stress that they have to go through with the loss of their biological parents.
- Give accurate information. Make sure that all of the information that you provide to the probation officer is true and correct. You will eventually have to sign the documents and information pertaining to the meeting and to the foster child. Make sure that you read through these first, so that you will no longer have to bother correcting the information later at the agency.
- Let your child talk. Also, allow your foster child to express sentiments and opinion during the meeting. If the foster child is old enough, it is also usually a great idea for you to allow the foster child to talk with the probation officer alone, which will show that you trust the child enough.
Caring for a foster child can be a very rewarding experience. You will not only give yourself the opportunity to shower other children with love, but will also give the foster child a chance to grow up with a loving and nurturing parent.