Gathering Information to Support Normative Experiences

Removal from the home is a difficult and traumatic experience for a child. Gathering information to allow for uninterrupted participation in daily activities and agreement on normative experiences are approaches to minimizing that trauma and supporting the healthy development of the child. Below are questions a case worker, case planner, and/or case manager may ask a birth/adoptive parent, guardian, or prior caretaker and child (if age and developmentally appropriate) to support continued, uninterrupted participation in normative experiences. Answers to these questions should be shared with the caregiver and child (if age and developmentally appropriate).

Is the child currently involved in any school or extracurricular activities? If yes, what are they
and at what time (e.g., after school)? Is there a schedule? How does the child get to/from the activity? Does participation in the activity require out of county, state and/or country travel? What is the contact information for the person in charge?

Is there a cost associated with the activity? If so, what is the cost and how has it been paid?

What are the child’s interests? For example, does the child have interests in a particular sport, dance, music, etc.? How does the child express those interests?

What are the child’s strengths? For example, does the child diligently complete his/her homework assignments; is the child willing to help others?

What are the child’s needs? For example, does the child need reassurance when making decisions, or does he/she need reminders to brush his/her teeth before bed?

Does the child attend religious services or is the child involved in any religious activities? If so, where and when?

Are there any dietary restrictions for medical or religious reasons, or for personal preference?

If age appropriate, what time would you like the child to go to bed?
How should the child’s current hair cut/style be maintained?

Does the child have any social media accounts (e.g., Facebook , Twitter, Instagram)? If so, are
there any restrictions placed on the child’s use of those accounts? Do you require that the child
provide his/her password so that the usage of the account can be monitored?

Does the child use anyone else’s social media accounts?

Is the child allowed to visit and/or stay overnight at a friend’s house? If yes, which friend(s)?

If age appropriate, is the child allowed to date? Does the child have a current boyfriend or girlfriend? Is the child sexually active?

If age appropriate, does the child have a curfew? If so, what is it?

Does the child work a part-time job? If yes, where and at what time does his/her shift start and end? How does the child get to/from work?

Has the child’s job affected his/her grades in school, or the ability to complete homework or other school assignments on time? Has working limited the child’s ability to participate in after school activities or athletics? Are these activities important to the child?

If age appropriate, does the child have a driver’s license? If yes, do you allow the child to drive?

If age and developmentally appropriate, is the child allowed to travel in a friend’s car to/from school and/or activities?

Is the child restricted from any community locations? If yes, where and why?

Is the child receiving aftercare services? If yes, what and where?