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 professional

  • 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.