Blue Ribbon Month = National Foster Care Month
May is National Foster Care Month – It’s time to recognize we can each play a part in enhancing the lives of children and youth in foster care.
CAP is proud to have opened its Therapeutic Foster Care Program in August 2021. Stacie Dailey, Therapeutic Foster Care Program Manager at Children Awaiting Parents, wants you to know more about this unique foster care program.
Did you know...
- The average age of children in foster care is more than 8 years of age.
- There are slightly more boys than girls in foster care.
- All children in foster care have experienced loss and some form of trauma.
What is Therapeutic Foster Care? It’s a journey of growth and healing to support children and youth to grow and flourish into the unique, loving individuals they are. It is out-of-home care by foster parents with specialized training to care for a wide variety of children and youth. It takes a tremendous amount of tolerance, resilience, creativity, resourcefulness, humor and love.
Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC) is for children and youth who have significant emotional, behavioral, or social issues, or are medically frail. It takes a unique style of parenting to provide for therapeutic level children and youth. So, CAP provides Therapeutic Foster Parents more pre-service training hours than is required for a more traditional foster home, including Trauma Informed Parenting Skills. Knowledge is power, and the more a foster parent knows, the better equipped they are at being able to provide intentional nurturing, unique behavioral management, and genuine caring for children.
Children in need of therapeutic foster care have struggled to make it in a more traditional foster home, are at great risk of being hospitalized or placed in a residential setting, or are transitioning out of residential settings into the family home environment.
TFC requires more out of a foster family than traditional care. Due to the special needs of children in therapeutic foster care, the number of children allowed in a foster home may be set lower than is allowed in a traditional foster home. This is intentionally done for the family to be better able to meet the individual needs of the children in their home.
One of the challenges is locating families who are willing to be Therapeutic Foster Parents. It is challenging to be a therapeutic foster parent, but also extremely rewarding. Foster Parents willing to provide care to higher needs children and youth can make incredible differences in the lives of foster children who so desperately need it. CAP’s TFC program serves children and youth from birth to 21. Our children and youth come from all socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds. What they have in common are special behavioral, social and/or emotional needs. What highlights CAP’s TFC program is the support parents and children receive – we are a dedicated part of the village who help children and youth walk a successful journey to personal growth and well-being.
CAP’s Case Coordinator and Home Finder provide extensive training and professional support to our parents. Case Coordinators serve as advocates for the foster child and family to ensure they obtain the services they need. Parents receive in-home monthly support from the Home Finder and bi-weekly support from the Case Coordinator. CAP also provides on-going monthly training to our TFC parents, as well as a Skills groups for our children and youth in care. All of our staff are trauma-informed.
Therapeutic Foster Care is not all sadness behavior and problems; it is a time of growth, change, and hope for our youth and families. We celebrate all of our Therapeutic Foster Parents and the work they continue to do with children and youth. Thank you all for who you are and what you do.
If you’re interested in the possibility of opening up your home as a Therapeutic Foster Parent, please consider coming to our Information Meetings.