Reasonable and Prudent Parenting Standards


In September 2014, the United States Congress passed the “Prevent Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families” Act.

The law articulates, among other things, the rights of older youth in foster care and “reasonable and prudent parent” standards for foster caregivers. It explains, in other words, what’s expected of foster parents and what foster children have a right to expect. The main point of the law is “normalcy” for children and youth in foster care.

The Georgia General Assembly, in Senate Bill 138, establishes Georgia’s supporting requirements for the implementation of the federal law. The Reasonable and Prudent Parenting Standards (RPPS) and “Youth Rights” provisions are effective in the Child Welfare Policy of the Division of Family and Children’s Services as of October 1, 2015.

Caregivers shall apply the reasonable and prudent parenting standard when determining whether to allow a child in foster care to participate in particular extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities. This includes assessing and approving the plan of supervision for youth engaging in activities while not under the direct supervision or oversight of the caregiver.

The Reasonable and Prudent Parenting Standard is characterized by careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain the health, safety and best interests of a child while at the same time encouraging the emotional and developmental growth of the child.  The caregiver shall use these standards when determining whether to allow a child in foster care under the responsibility of the state to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural and social activities.

See the forms section for additional examples and information on Reasonable and Prudent parenting.