Ha - where do I start??? We're just dipping our toes in to fostering - just finished PRIDE training and should have our homestudy completed soon.
My greatest concerns as a newbie are proper record keeping (as it was drilled in to us over and over how important that is) - and what to ask when someone calls and has a placement possibility. I'm thinking maybe we can avoid a mismatched placement if we ask the right questions when we have the opportunity. Maybe that's idealistic.
Gawdessness has a great list of questions to ask, but the real issue whether you will be given a chance to ask any questions.
Have you talked to other foster parents in your system? They will be better able to tell you what information social workers are willing to give out and how often they actually match.
So often social workers have a kid for whom they need to find a bed -- tonight.
I work for an agency that does permanent placement, so it is different. I wish I could be more helpful. I think you will like Gawdessness's list though.