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List of Questions for Meetings with Social Workers and / or Foster Carers

chestnuttree May 27, 2020 21:23

Not all of these questions are relevant for each age group or situation. However, they are a good starting point.


  • What do they like?
  • What are they like?
  • What is their understanding of adoption?
  • What work has been done to prepare them for adoption?
  • How do they feel about it?
  • What are their thoughts and feelings on birth family?
  • How are they progressing in FC? How do they feel about animals? How are they at school?
  • What are they like with other children?


  • how do they get on together?
  • sibling rivalry?attention seeking behaviours?
  • one child parenting the other?
  • have they been assessed for a trauma bond?


  • Can they dress / undress themselves?
  • What boundaries have been set – reward systems / time in / thinking step?
  • What is their daily routine?


  • Are they good or fussy eaters? Overeating?
  • Does it take a long time for them to eat a meal?
  • What are their favourite foods?
  • Is there anything they don’t like?
  • Do they have any allergies - food?
  • How often do they eat and how much?
  • What do they usually drink?
  • What food do they usually eat?


  • Do they like being in the bath or is it a stressful time for them?
  • Do they like brushing their teeth?
  • Do they need help with this?
  • Do they like having their hair brushed, washed, dried?
  • Hairbrush or comb?
  • How do you wash their hair and what with?
  • What shampoo and bubble bath do they have?
  • When and how often do they have a bath, morning or evening?
  • Do you use body lotion on them?


  • Do they have problems sleeping if something new has happened?
  • Do they have any other comforters either just at night or during the day too?
  • Do they need a nightlight on?
  • Do they sleep soundly or does the slightest thing wake them?
  • How are they sleeping?
  • How do you soothe them back to sleep during the night if they wake up?
  • How do you deal with nightmares / monsters under the bed?
  • s there any music used to help them sleep?
  • What is their sleep routine (time, stories, bath etc?)


  • Do they have any (rational or irrational) fears, e.g. flies, spiders, loud noises, water, smells, places, activities, beards, people with glasses, anything unusual?

  • Do they have any tantrums and what triggers them?

  • How long to they last? Do they react to pain / distress of others / you when they are with you?

  • How can you tell when they are angry or scared?

  • How can you tell when they are hungry or tired?

  • How do they cope with pain, do they have an overly high or low pain threshold?

  • How do they show affection?

  • Are they cuddly or do they push you away?

  • How easily are they calmed?

  • How would you describe their behaviour and personality? (Calm, placid, fussy etc)

  • If they have any contact with the birth family, how does it affect them? siblings

  • Is there any thing that triggers a particular feeling, e.g. anger, happiness, fright, distress?

  • Is there anything that especially delights them, gets them excited?

  • What do they use to comfort themselves, e.g. blanket / dummy / rag / toy?

  • What do you do to comfort them, e.g. cuddle / stroke / hold them in a particular way?

  • What is their general outlook on life?

  • What is their 'quiet space' / sanctuary?

  • What do they understand about their safety, e.g. not playing with matches, knowing how to dial 999


  • What perfumes / after shave etc do the FC wear?

  • What soap powder / conditioner / tumble dryer additives do you use?

  • Which baby products / toiletries do you use?


  • Are there any upcoming appointments?
  • Do they go to the dentist regularly and do they like this?
  • Do they have any allergies to products, e.g. washing powder, plasters, etc.?
  • Do they have any special needs?
  • Do they have dry skin / eczema?
  • What products do you use?
  • Are these over-the-counter or prescription?
  • Has there been any grief work done with them?
  • Have they had any childhood illnesses, e.g chicken pox, glue ear, stick eyes, etc?
  • How much do they weigh?
  • What are their heights now?
  • What do you do when they are feeling unwell?
  • What is planned over the continued review of any medical conditions?
  • What was their head circumference at birth and now? These give a good indication of likely future growth.
  • When are their next medical / dental / opticians appointments?
  • Are they up to date?
  • When was their last dental appointment?


  • Do they have any particular talents and attributes?
  • How do they compare in development milestones to a typical child of their age?
  • How mobile are they?
  • What has their physical development been like, e.g. centile charts (WHO)?


  • Can they speak / read / write / draw?
  • Can we see any of the things they bring home from school?
  • Do they have a best friend at school / nursery?
  • Do they have any friends away from nursery/school that they may miss?
  • Do they have any specific skills or attributes, e.g. fantastic dancer?
  • What was their last report like?


  • Are they used to playing with / having other children around?
  • Do they enjoy the company of adults or children more?
  • Do they get upset or anxious by strangers?
  • Do they have stranger fear?
  • Do they lack stranger awareness?
  • Do they have difficulty with hugs, eye contact, close proximity?
  • Do they like their / others birthday and Christmas and parties?
  • Do they play well with friends – are they leaders or followers?
  • How are they with new people?
  • Which adults are they closest to?


  • Are there any animals they are frightened of?
  • Are they used to any pets or animals?
  • Did the birth family have pets?
  • Do they like cats / dogs / birds / farm animals?
  • Do you have pets?
  • How do they behave around pets or other people's animals?


  • Can and do they swim?
  • Do they like dancing and singing?
  • Do they like playing in the garden, even on dull days?
  • Do they like sports and outdoor activities?
  • Do they like travelling in the car – are they good passengers?
  • Do they like walking?
  • Do they suffer from travel sickness?
  • Have they been long distances in a car?
  • Have you taken them abroad on holiday? If so, where? (Passport?)
  • Have you taken them on holiday in this country? If so, where?
  • Is there any particular equipment you take with you when going out with them? Seating arrangements, e.g. at table, in cars, at restaurants What are their favourite indoor / outdoor games?
  • What are their favourite places to go?
  • What are their favourite smells, e.g. seaside or flowers
  • What are their favourite songs?
  • What are their hobbies and interests?
  • What child seats are in the car?
  • What sounds / noises do they like to hear?
  • Where do they most like to go? (farm, park, swimming etc)?


  • Are there any clothes that they dislike wearing?
  • Are there any clothes they particularly like / favourites?
  • Do they have a good range of seasonal clothing to bring with them?
  • What are their clothing sizes?
  • What clothing do they have?
  • What is their shoe size?


  • Do they have any favourite toys / books?
  • Do they have any music / TV / film favourites?
  • Is there a particular theme to the toys / books / TV they like the most?


  • Is there anything that they really like that they wont be bringing with them?
  • What clothing / toys / bedding / books / CDs / DVDs / photos / documents / other possessions will they be bringing with them?
  • Who gave them which possessions, e.g. birth family, other FC, etc?
  • Which are significant or most precious and why?


  • Are there any photos we could take with us?
  • Where are all their legal papers / health records / personal papers / school or nursery reports / old birthday cards / old photos etc?
  • Will you be able to provide us with photos during their stay at the FC placement?


  • Do they think that there will be a lot of problems when they move on?
  • Do they understand about adoption?
  • Do they understand about their past and future? If so, how much have they been told?
  • Do they understand what has happened to birth mother and father?
  • Is there anything that you would like to know about us / need from us?
  • What and who do you think they will miss when they move on?
  • When can we give them something of ours, item of clothing or a toy for them to get used to?
Edited 17/02/2021
2mums2be June 8, 2020 19:10


What a fantastic list! We already have our LO, but I'm sure so m any families will find it invaluable! Well done ???

Edited 17/02/2021
DigitalAUK June 9, 2020 08:21

@chestnuttree - this is an incredible list. thank you for sharing.

Best wishes,


Edited 17/02/2021
chestnuttree June 9, 2020 22:17

Hi, many thanks for the flowers, but this list (or a very similar one) was actually compiled by someone else. Unfortunately I can't give that person credit, because I don't know they are. Thanks anyway though!

Edited 17/02/2021
Dammar July 9, 2020 16:15

Thanks for sharing - life appreciate day tomorrow, so lots to think about.

Edited 17/02/2021


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