Types of Parents


The DFCS caregiver practice model is called Partnership Parenting. Partnership Parenting is a trauma-informed, shared parenting model between caregivers and birth parents that is designed to keep parents parenting while their children are in out-of-home placement. The premise of partnership parenting is to keep birth parents connected and involved with parenting their children. This model has proven to have achieve permanency for children faster, reduce the incidents and effects of trauma due to placement, preserve existing parent/child bonds, and help parents improve their ability to care for and protect their own children.

Caregiver Types


In an effort to be inclusive, “caregiver” is used to collectively refer to all Resource Parent types, including those who serve through Child Placing Agencies (CPA’s).

Becoming a foster or adoptive resource parent is so rewarding, and takes both dedication and compassion. You and your family should collectively decide which caregiving role is the most suitable for you.

The current caregiver role types supported by the Partnership Parenting model are as follows:


  • Connector.

    Partnership Parents

    Partnership Parents (PPs) are Resource Parents who provide temporary homes for children in foster care. They are expected to work in partnership with birth families and act as parenting mentors whenever possible. PPs share parenting responsibilities with birth parents through “parenting opportunities.” Parenting opportunities are any favorable times, occasions, situations, or conditions that allow a parent to safely teach, support, nurture, discipline, care for, or guide children.

  • Connector.

    Relative Partnership Parents

    Relative Partnership Parents (RPPs) are Resource Parents related by blood, marriage, or adoption to children placed in their home. They provide temporary homes for their relative’s children who are in foster care. They may also serve non-relative children. RPPs follow the same approval process as regular PPs and have all the benefits and responsibilities associated with being a PP, including full foster care per diem reimbursement. RPPs have the same expectations as PPs.

  • Connector.

    Adoptive Parents

    Adoptive Parents are “forever families” who make a lifelong commitment to a child. They serve children whose birth parents’ parental rights have been voluntarily surrendered or terminated by a court, thus making the children legally free for adoption. Adoptive Parents may also be relatives in which case they are called Relative Adoptive Parents.

  • Connector.

    Adoptive Parent-Legal Risk Parents

    Adoptive Parent-Legal Risk Parents are adoptive parents who accept for placement children who are not completely legally free for adoption and thus, legal risk exists in accepting the placement.

  • Connector.

    Resource Parents

    Resource Parents (RPs) are a hybrid of a Resource Parent and an adoptive parent. They act as both a PP (temporary foster care placement) and are willing to become the adoptive parent (permanent family) for the child. Children placed with RPs have a concurrent permanency plan, meaning that two permanency goals are being pursued simultaneously. At least one of the permanency goals is adoption with the RP named as the permanency resource. RPs must be able to concurrently fulfill the roles of being a PP and an adoptive parent. A RP may also be a relative in which case they are called Relative Resource Parents.

  • Connector.

    Interstate Compact-related

    Caregivers serving children through the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) are known as ICPC-Partnership Parents, ICPC- Adoptive Parents, ICPC-Relative Partnership Parents and ICPC-Relative Adoptive Parents.