Icebreaker Meetings

A Tool for Building Relationships Between Birth and Foster Parents

Posted January 2, 2012
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
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Children need families, even when those families aren’t perfect. Putting a child into foster care disrupts the parent/child relationship which can deeply affect identity, trust and self-esteem. But sometimes it’s necessary. While past practice has been to discourage interaction between birth and foster parents, new thinking shows building alliances between birth and foster families can be crucial to the well-being of the child. The Foundation created this step-by-step practice guide with several appendices to help child welfare agencies understand Icebreaker family meetings and shift into "parent partner" mode.

View the complete Icebreaker toolkit with appendices and instructional video

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations

Key Takeaway

The Icebreaker is a facilitated conversation between birth and resource parents.