Therapeutic Foster Care FAQ
How old do I have to be to become a foster parent?
You must be at least 21 years of age to become a foster parent.
Are there restrictions on who can become a foster parent?
Anyone can become a foster parent, male or female. All races and religions are eligible to become foster parents as well. Becoming a foster parent is also not contingent upon your relationship status. You can become a foster parent if you’re married, single, widowed, divorced, and/or have a life-partner or roommate.
What is Foster Care?
The primary service of Foster Care is to provide safe and temporary placement for children who cannot remain safely in their home of origin. Children are typically placed in family foster care due to abuse, neglect, or dependency. These children need out-of-home care until their birth parents are able to provide a safe and stable home or, if this is not possible, until another permanent plan is achieved. The goal of foster care is to implement a plan for permanency for each child. The role of the foster family is to provide “substitute” care for the birth family for a certain period of time in a child’s life.
What is Therapeutic Foster Care?
Therapeutic Foster Care is a more intense level of care that is guided by the treatment needs of the children. Therapeutic Foster Care offers additional supports to assist a child who is coping with trauma, abuse, or neglect. Children receiving Therapeutic Foster Care services are classified by three levels of severity that correspond with their behavioral health needs. Children in Therapeutic Foster Care are generally receiving outpatient therapy services and medication management as a part of their treatment plans.
What are the ages of the children who come into Therapeutic Foster Care?
JusticeWorks BehavioralCare is licensed to serve children aged birth-21 years. There are instances where children younger may be served in the program if they are siblings of another child in the program or have specific needs identified that are best served with a Therapeutic Foster Care placement.
Am I responsible for the costs incurred by the child in my home?
Therapeutic Foster Parents receive a tax-free reimbursement to assist in covering the needs and basic expenses of children placed in your home. The reimbursement rate is a pre-determined per diem rate and is based on the level of services the child will receive in the home. This reimbursement is paid monthly and based on the number of days the child received services in the home. In most cases, the child’s health insurance is provided through Medicaid, requiring no additional costs to be provided by the foster parent.
Will I have to interact with the child’s family?
As reunification is the plan for most children receiving foster care services interaction with the child’s family will be beneficial to both you and the child in your home. Shared Parenting is the collaborative arrangement in which both the foster parents and biological parents commit to being actively involved in the child’s life. The biological parents have information about the child that will better assist you in managing the child in your home. Partnering with the parent, within the guidelines established by the agency, can help the child progress while they are at your home and help them maintain what they’ve learned when they return to their biological family.
How many children can I have in my home?
How many children placed in your homes depends on the size of your home and the available bedroom space (inclusive of adequate sleeping arrangements for all residents of the home and any children placed in the home). There are some cases where a child will not be able to be placed with other children due to their care needs. In most cases, there will be no more than 2 children placed in your home at the same home; however, exceptions may apply for serving a sibling group.
How much training do I need be a Therapeutic Foster Parent?
You will receive 35 hours of training that is provided free-of-charge to you. The training usually occurs during nights and weekends to accommodate the schedules of potential foster parents. All training hours must be completed prior to the licensing application being submitted to the State for approval.
Will I be able to adopt the child in my home?
Most children receiving Therapeutic Foster Care services are working toward achieving their treatment goals so they can return home. In many cases, the children are under a reunification plan while their biological parent is working their own plan so that the child may return home. In the event that the court decides to change the child’s permanency plan, the child may become available for adoption. This does not guarantee that the child will be adopted by the therapeutic foster parent providing care but may be explored.
How are the children selected that will come into my home?
When JusticeWorks receives a referral for placement, the child’s needs and the therapeutic foster parent’s profile are both taken into consideration for the best placement match. Criterion inclusive of home dynamic, school zone, number of children/pets in the home, therapy provider location, etc., are considered when matching a child with the best available therapeutic foster parent. Your preferences are also considered based on information provided during the home study and the foster home dynamic.
Will the children be able to change schools?
Whenever possible, all efforts will be made to maintain the child who enters care in their school of origin. In the event that this is not feasible, the agency can request permission to change the child’s school.