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Our Mission is to be a respected national voice for Foster, Kinship and Adoptive Parents through networking, education and advocacy.

NFPA Guiding Principles

The National Foster Parent Association, in collaboration with the Council of State Affiliates, recognizes the value of having Guidelines for the valuable role foster parents have in protecting and nurturing the children who join our families. 

The NFPA has an inclusive perspective in which foster care included traditional, kinship, guardian, adoptive care provided under the eye of the child welfare system.

These guidelines set expectations and principles of basic values. They guide practice for all families who step forward to do the important work of creating a safe harbor for children who come under the care of the child welfare system.

  • Reunification with the children’s family is the primary focus.
  • Relationships, collaboration, and partnerships are the foundation to positive outcomes for children and their families.
  • Provide family foster care by ensuring a safe, nurturing, supportive environment for all children in your home.
  • Meet children’s wide array of developmental needs.
  • Be informed about and follow trauma-informed practices.
  • Continue to learn and grow.
  • Advocate for the child, their family, yourself, and your family.

Many aspects of foster care have changed in the past decades. We anticipate that even more will change within the next few years. These Guiding Principles will continue to be updated as NFPA acknowledges the growth, change, development of foster care and the child welfare system.

These new Guiding Principles became effective on 8/26/21. To view the historical Code of Ethics that preceded them, visit this page.

The National Foster Parent Association is a champion for the thousands of families that open their hearts and their homes to the over 400,000 children in out-of-home placement in the US. The NFPA believes in the importance of family-based care for foster children and that every child deserves support and a permanent family.

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