17 Foster Care Worker Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a foster care worker, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

Foster care workers provide a safe and loving home for children who have been removed from their birth families due to abuse or neglect. These workers are responsible for the physical, emotional, and educational well-being of the children in their care.

If you’re interested in becoming a foster care worker, you’ll likely need to go through a job interview. During the interview, you’ll be asked questions about your experience with children, your ability to handle difficult situations, and your ability to provide a stable home environment.

To help you prepare for your interview, we’ve gathered some of the most common questions asked during a foster care worker interview, along with sample answers.

Are you CPR certified?

The interviewer may ask this question to see if you have the necessary skills and training to care for foster children. If you are not CPR certified, consider taking a course or enrolling in a program that offers certification. You can also mention any other certifications you have, such as first aid or emergency medical technician (EMT) certification.

Example: “I am not CPR certified, but I would love to take a class on it. In the meantime, I am EMT-certified and have been trained in basic life support. I feel confident providing CPR until an ambulance arrives.”

What are some of the most important qualities for a successful foster care worker?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you have the skills and abilities to be successful in this role. When answering, it can be helpful to mention a few of your own personal qualities that make you effective as a foster care worker.

Example: “I believe some of the most important qualities for a successful foster care worker are empathy, patience and flexibility. As a foster care worker, I am helping children who may be going through challenging situations. Having empathy allows me to understand what they might be feeling or experiencing. Patience is also important because I need to be able to work with children who may not always respond well to certain situations. Finally, flexibility is key because there are many different types of children I could encounter.”

How would you handle a situation where a child refuses to eat dinner?

This question can help the interviewer assess your ability to handle challenging situations with children. Use examples from past experiences and explain how you helped resolve the situation or encouraged the child to eat dinner.

Example: “When I worked in a daycare, one of my foster children would refuse to eat his dinner every night. He was very picky about what he ate, so we tried many different foods before finding something he liked. After that, I made sure to always have those items on hand for him. Eventually, he started eating other things as well. Now, he eats everything I put in front of him.”

What is your experience with working with children?

This question can help the interviewer determine your experience level and how you might fit in with their foster care team. If you have no prior experience working with children, consider sharing a story about a time when you helped someone who was younger than you.

Example: “I’ve been babysitting since I was 14 years old, so I have quite a bit of experience working with kids. In my last job as a nanny, I cared for two children from ages three to six. I also volunteered at my local library where I read stories to children up to age five.”

Provide an example of a time when you had to discipline a child.

Discipline is an important part of fostering children. The interviewer wants to know how you would handle a situation where a child was misbehaving and what your approach would be.

Example: “I once had a foster child who was very energetic, but he didn’t have the opportunity to run around much because we were always at home. He would often get up from his seat during class time and start running around the classroom. I talked with him about why it’s important to stay in his seat and asked if there was anything that could help him focus better. He said he liked to color, so I brought some extra coloring books for him to use when he needed to calm down.”

If a child in your care gets injured, how would you handle the situation?

When working with foster children, you may need to handle injuries. Employers ask this question to make sure you have experience handling these types of situations and how you would react in an emergency situation. In your answer, explain what steps you would take to ensure the child’s safety and comfort while also following any specific procedures that the employer tells you about.

Example: “If a child got injured, I would first assess their condition and call for help if needed. Then, I would try to calm them down and keep them distracted until medical professionals arrived. If it was something small like a scraped knee, I would clean it up and put on some bandages. For more serious injuries, I would follow all company protocols for contacting emergency services.”

What would you do if you noticed a child in your care was being abused?

This question can help an interviewer determine how you would handle a serious situation. It’s important to be honest in your answer and show that you’re willing to report abuse when you see it.

Example: “If I saw any child being abused, I would immediately call the authorities. In my experience as a foster care worker, I’ve seen children who have been neglected or physically harmed by their parents. These situations are always heartbreaking, but I know that reporting them is the right thing to do. If I ever suspected a child was being abused, I would make sure they were safe before calling for help.”

How well do you handle stress?

Foster care workers often work with children who are experiencing a lot of stress. The interviewer wants to know how you handle stressful situations and if you can remain calm when working with foster kids. Use examples from your previous experience to show that you can manage stress well.

Example: “I have worked in the child welfare system for five years, so I’ve seen my fair share of stressful situations. However, I think it’s important to remain calm and collected no matter what is happening. For example, I once had a foster kid who was having a meltdown because he didn’t want to go to bed. I talked him through his feelings and helped him understand why we needed to follow certain rules. He calmed down after that and went to sleep.”

Do you have experience working with children with special needs?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you have experience working with foster children who may need additional support. Your answer should include any relevant experiences and how you helped your foster children succeed.

Example: “I worked as a teacher’s aide in a special education classroom for two years, where I learned to work with students of all ages with different disabilities. In my current role, I’ve had several foster children with special needs, including ADHD, autism spectrum disorder and developmental delays. I always make sure to communicate with their primary care providers so that I can provide the best care possible.”

When is it appropriate to call a child’s parents?

This question can help the interviewer determine your understanding of foster care policies and procedures. It is important to know when you should call a child’s parents, as well as what information you are allowed to share with them. In your answer, explain that you would only call a child’s parents if it was in the best interest of the child.

Example: “I understand that I am not supposed to call a child’s parents unless it is absolutely necessary. For example, if a child has an urgent medical issue or needs something from their parents, then I would make the call. However, I would never call a parent just to ask how they are doing or to get more information about the case. That is considered inappropriate because it could be seen as interfering with the process.”

We want our foster care workers to be positive role models for the children in their care. How would you encourage a child to do their best?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you would interact with foster children and their families. Showcase your interpersonal skills by explaining a specific example of how you helped a child overcome challenges or encouraged them to do their best in school.

Example: “I once worked with a foster child who was struggling in school. I asked his teacher for some information about what he was learning, so that I could explain it to him at home. Then, I made sure to spend time each night reviewing concepts with him and encouraging him to ask me questions if he didn’t understand something. He started asking more questions during class, which led to an improvement in his grades.”

Describe your process for making a bed.

This question is a way for the interviewer to assess your organizational skills and attention to detail. It’s important to be honest in your answer, as you may need to make beds regularly as part of your job duties.

Example: “I start by making sure all sheets are tucked in tightly at the corners. Then I smooth out any wrinkles on the top sheet before placing it over the bottom sheet. Next, I place the pillowcase over the pillow and tuck it under the mattress. Finally, I fluff up the pillows and arrange them neatly.”

What makes you an ideal candidate for this position?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you feel you would be a good fit for their organization. Before your interview, make sure to read through the job description so that you can refer to specific requirements or skills they are looking for in an ideal candidate. In your answer, try to highlight any of these qualities that you possess.

Example: “I believe I am an ideal candidate for this position because of my experience working with children and families. Throughout my career as a foster care worker, I have learned many techniques for helping children overcome trauma and develop healthy relationships with their caregivers. I also think I am an ideal candidate because of my ability to work well under pressure. As a foster care worker, I often have multiple cases at once, which requires me to prioritize tasks and manage my time efficiently.”

Which age group do you most enjoy working with?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you have experience working with children of various ages. It can also show them which age group you enjoy most and whether or not you would be willing to work with other age groups. When answering this question, it can be beneficial to mention a specific age group that you enjoy working with and why.

Example: “I find that I am most comfortable working with children between the ages of five and ten years old. This is because I feel like I have enough experience to handle any situation while still being able to relate to the children on their level. I love seeing the excitement in their eyes when they learn something new, so I think I would really enjoy working with younger children.”

What do you think is the most important thing foster care workers can do for children?

This question can help an interviewer understand your perspective on foster care and how you would approach the job. Your answer can also show them what skills you have that could be useful in this role. When answering, it can be helpful to think about a time when someone helped you or someone else in a way that made a big difference.

Example: “I believe fostering children is all about making sure they feel safe and cared for. I’ve seen foster care workers who are good at building relationships with kids and helping them feel comfortable. This helps foster kids feel like they’re not alone and gives them someone to talk to if they need support. It’s important to me to make sure every child feels loved and supported.”

How often should you check in with a child’s parents?

The interviewer may ask this question to assess your communication skills and how you interact with parents. Your answer should show that you value the importance of keeping in touch with foster children’s families. You can also use this opportunity to explain why it is important for parents to stay involved in their child’s life while they are in foster care.

Example: “I believe that fostering a strong relationship between the parent and child is crucial, so I make sure to check in with the parents at least once every two weeks. This allows me to keep them updated on their child’s progress and gives them an opportunity to share any concerns or questions they have about their child’s well-being. It also helps foster children feel more secure knowing that their parents are always there for them.”

There is a child in your care who is sad and won’t tell you why. What do you do?

This question is designed to test your ability to handle challenging situations. It also shows the interviewer how you will interact with children in foster care and their families. In your answer, try to show empathy for the child’s situation while demonstrating that you can use problem-solving skills to find a solution.

Example: “I would first ask the child if they want to talk about what’s making them sad. If they don’t, I would give them space and time to themselves. However, if they do want to talk, I would listen carefully and make sure they know I am there for them. Then, I would help them come up with solutions to whatever problems they are facing.”


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