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Icebreaker Meetings: Building Relationships Between Birth and Foster Parents

Building working relationships between birth parents, foster parents, and caseworkers can be extremely important for foster children, and using Icebreaker meetings can be an effective mechanism for doing that. However, to be successful, an agency seeking to introduce Icebreakers must understand how the practice works. This publication is designed to:

  • Give agencies an overview of Icebreaker meetings;
  • Describe a work group process for planning and implementing Icebreaker meetings;
  • Identify common barriers and roadblocks to successful implementation of Icebreaker meetings;
  • Identify implementation steps that are often overlooked or missed;
  • Share successes and examples of agencies using Icebreaker meetings;
  • Share samples of Icebreaker documents and materials developed by agencies from across the country; and
  • Provide a self-assessment tool to guide your planning and implementation.

The Toolkit



The Icebreaker Training Video


The Casey Foundation has produced an 18 minute video to support the use of icebreaker meetings by child welfare agencies. View the trailer below:

View the full version of the video.

To order a DVD copy of the Icebreaker Meetings video, contact Dionisa Santiago.