Maryland DHR Homepage for Adoption and Foster Care.

Contains links to useful information for Adoption, Foster Care, Providers and Other Services.


Foster Care

Child Welfare Policies

Foster Parent Policies

To help support the efforts of our resource parents, the Department of Human Resources and the Social Services Administration has established this website where foster care policies and other important information may be easily found in one place. New and updated information will be added regularly, so be sure to check in often.

DHR Resources


Documents to Download

  • Icon of Family Centered Practice GuideFamily Centered Practice Guide (80.5 KiB) Family Centered Practice (FCP) assures that the entire system of care engages the family in helping them to improve their ability to adequately plan for the care and safety of their children. The safety, well-being and permanence of children are paramount. The strengths of the entire family are the focus of the engagement. The family is viewed as a system of interrelated people where action and change in one part of the system impacts the other. A commitment is made to encourage and support the family’s involvement in making decisions for their children. A climate of community collaboration is nurtured as a way to expand the supportive network available to children and families. Refining the assessment and evaluation of practice standards and promoting performance expectations to assist caseworkers, supervisors and administrators in facilitating child welfare interactions will improve the outcomes for children and their families.
  • Icon of Maryland Youth Matter Practice ModelMaryland Youth Matter Practice Model (3.1 MiB) The Youth Engagement Practice Model is specifically designed to focus on addressing the needs, and ensuring involvement of youth (ages 14-21) who come to the attention of Maryland's Child Welfare System. As an extension of Maryland's Family Centered Practice Model, the Youth Engagement Model is centered on assuring the safety, well-being, and permanency of every child, while building on the strengths of family and community to meet the child's needs. The Social Services Administration hopes this Model will be the catalyst for child welfare administrators, staff and providers to pay close attention to the lens used to view young people, and the role we play in supporting them as they launch into adulthood.


Foster Care Reimbursements and Allowances Foster parents receive a monthly rate for the care of foster children. The regular foster care rate is provided to children who do not require unusual care and supervision. The foster parents would provide basic physical care, well-balanced meals, maintenance of home, clothing, supervision of child’s health and dental care and offer the attention and affection appropriate to the child’s age. Some children may require unusual care and supervision in a foster home. These children may exhibit extraordinary physical, emotional or behavioral issues. These might include physical handicaps, emotional disturbances, severe learning disabilities, etc. Foster parents that receive intermediate rates are required to participate in various treatment plans, trainings, provide prescribed physical care, and other tasks as deemed appropriate. Maryland StateStat StateStat is a performance-measurement and management tool implemented by Governor Martin O’Malley to make our state government more accountable and more efficient. This pages lists StateStat reports by Department. Click on the most recent Department of Human Resources link to see the latest Child Welfare statistics.

New DHR Policies



Documents to Download

  • Icon of SSA 12-34 Post-Adoption Permanency Program ServicesSSA 12-34 Post-Adoption Permanency Program Services (1.9 MiB) The purpose of this policy is to report to local departments of social services the allocation of funds for the Post-Adoption Permanency Program for the remainder of SFY 2012. The program function remains the same, i.e. providing families access to funds for post-adoption services. As of this announcement, $50,000 is available for program expenditures due to a decrease in requests during FY 2011.
  • Icon of SSA 13-1 Adoption Assistance ProgramSSA 13-1 Adoption Assistance Program (4.8 MiB)
  • Icon of SSA 13-12 Marylands Tuition Waiver Program And Education And Training Voucher ProgramSSA 13-12 Marylands Tuition Waiver Program And Education And Training Voucher Program (819.0 KiB) This policy directive seeks to provide case workers with information that will assist foster care and former foster care youth with how to access Maryland's Tuition Waiver for Foster Care Recipients and the Education and Training Voucher (ETV) programs. This policy directive also provides direction on how to apply the Education and Training Voucher.
  • Icon of SSA 13-2 Case Planning Concurrent Permanency PlanningSSA 13-2 Case Planning Concurrent Permanency Planning (3.2 MiB) The purpose of this policy directive is to provide guidelines to the local departments of social Services (LDSS) on case planning for all children in out-of-home placement with a concentration on concurrent permanency planning. Maryland currently utilizes concurrent permanency planning, however most jurisdictions do not routinely identify both plans in case planning and court reports. This policy will assist in establishing appropriate concurrent plans and provide information to LDSS staff concerning documenting reasonable efforts to achieve both plans at the same time. The local departments of social services (LDSS) must engage in concurrent permanency planning with all children with a permanency plan of reunification with the parent or legal guardian, placement with a relative for adoption or custody and guardianship or adoption by a non relative (prior to termination of parental rights).
  • Icon of SSA 13-7 Identity Theft Credit Report And Repair For YouthSSA 13-7 Identity Theft Credit Report And Repair For Youth (101.4 KiB) The purpose of this policy directive is to establish the requirements for providing Identity Theft Prevention, Credit Report Services, and assistance with Credit Repair for youth age 16 and older
    who are committed to the local departments of social services. This policy directive provides instructions to local departments of social services to obtain a foster youths' credit report with
    each of the three major Credit Reporting Agencies annually, review the three reports with the youth, and if necessary, correct any erroneous information.
  • Icon of SSA12-26 Educational StabilitySSA12-26 Educational Stability (65.5 KiB) This Policy Directive establishes guidelines to ensure the educational stability of children awaiting foster care as well as the children and youth that are in an out-of-home placement. This policy directive supersedes SSA Policy Directive 12-13 and Supplements SSA Policy Directive #10-21, Caseplan Documentation Clarification).
  • Icon of SSA12-32 APPLA PolicySSA12-32 APPLA Policy (29.2 KiB) The purpose of this policy directive is to provide guidelines to the local departments of social services on updated procedures for youth with the permanency plan of Another Planned Permanent Living Arrangement (APPLA). This policy provides the requirements for selecting APPLA as a permanency plan and services to provide for youth with the permanency plan of APPLA. This policy directive supersedes Policy Directive SSA-07-07.

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