Introducing yourself to the family

Meeting the child’s family for the first time can be difficult to navigate. With mixed emotions and little information, caregivers often don’t know where or how to start. However, it is up to the caregiver to take initiative to make this connection as parents are already attempting to process the traumatic event of their child being removed from their care. Below are some resources on how to engage others in the case to learn more about the family and guidance on what information family members might want to know about you at the beginning.

Compassion Note:

Because there are two sides to an introduction, we encourage you to think about what it’s like for the parents to meet you. Here are some things the parents might be feeling and thinking:

Anger/ Resentment
  • Are these people going to hurt my child? Is this a safe family?
  • Does this family hope that this fails and that they get to keep my child? Will I lose my child forever?
  • Why does this person want to take care of someone else’s child? What are their motivations as a caregiver?
  • What is my child’s daily life like in this family?
  • Who is in this family?
  • Do these people think I’m a bad person?
  • They have no idea what my life is like. 
  • They think they’re better than me. 
  • They want me to fail.
  • Is it possible these people could help me?

As you were reading this list, did you notice that parents might have a lot of the same feelings and thoughts as you? Making this connection is a good place to start an open, empathetic relationship with them that will ultimately support the child in your care.

Video Resources

When They First Met

In this video, Mary and Kyle tell us what it was like to meet their son’s caregiver, Patrick for the first time. 

How I Introduced Myself

Texas caregivers share how they’ve introduced themselves to parents.

How Caregivers Should Introduce themselves to Parents?

Texas caregivers share more strategies on how they introduced themselves to parents.

What it was like when I first engaged

Caregivers talk about what was like to first engage with the child’s family members.

Questions you can Ask your Case worker or Case manager about engaging with the family

Texas caregivers share some questions you can ask the professionals in the case about engaging with the family. You are in the driver’s seat. Remember: You can find a Child Placing Agency who supports you and your interest in engaging families.

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