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Therapeutic Foster Care PDF Print E-mail

 What is Therapeutic Foster Care?

Christian Services for Children in Alabama (CSCA) provides home-like family living and therapeutic services to Medicaid eligible children and youth (ages 7-18) who may otherwise be left in institutional settings or even possibly on the street to survive.

The hub of the Therapeutic Foster care (TFC) is without a doubt our foster parents and the professional team. Each individual brings its expertise that is inseparable from each other. These children and families are helped through interventions primarily delivered by trained foster parents referred to as Therapeutic Foster Parents (TFP). The child or youth lives in the community in the home of the trained foster parent while getting the special help to be restored and to live to the best of his or her ability. While the youth is living in the private home of a trained foster family, the youth is given an opportunity to live in the “whole community” including family, school, church, and all other aspects of the community. This model allows the youth’s healing to take place in a broad spectrum of living. Once the child or youth returns or transitions to home, adoption, kinship care or independent living, he or she is more prepared for like adjustment.


… it’s a calling

Therapeutic foster care parents must be willing and committed to providing the “healing” intervention that are required to help rebuild and gain the losses that have occurred over time. This process involves working from the individualized treatment plan developed with the youth, family, referring worker, TFC Parent/TFC Professional Staff to determine the actions required to reach the identified goals.

CSCA TFC program follows the required regulations established by the Alabama State Department of Human Resources along with the standards of Foster Family Treatment Association and Child Welfare League of America which support the care and services that are best suited to meet each youth’s emotional, developmental, physical, spiritual and social needs.

CSCA Therapeutic Foster Parents, in partnership with the agency, provides and documents on in home-basic living and social skills development on a daily basic as directed by each youth’s individual treatment plan. Our TFC program involves planned therapeutic intervention that promotes and enables healthy development of the child or youth. CSCA children and youth receive individual and family counseling and individual/family support as required by the direction of each youth’s individualized treatment plan.

Prospective TFC parents are recruited and receive special training to work with children who are referred for therapeutic foster care. The pre-service training involves a series of sessions of the Group, Preparation and Selection Program or Deciding Together Program designed to prepare families and individuals to make an informed decision about becoming a resource family for children in the foster care. To become a therapeutic resource family, prospective parents must complete advance trainings pertaining to specific needs of children with emotional and behavioral challenges. Professional staff meets with the therapeutic foster parents and other professionals pertaining to the development of the youth at least weekly to provide therapies, advocacy, educational support, family support and other assistance in securing needed services.


What We Provide

Professional Support To The TFC Parents In Carrying Out…….

  • A caring and nurturing home environment
  • Around the clock supervision
  • Advocacy on behalf of the children
  • Behavior management that reinforces positive goal attainment
  • Daily intervention directed by the individualized treatment plan
  • Daily documentation of therapeutic strategies utilized to support youth’s progress
  • Services toward developing youth independent living skills
  • Participation in charting the work toward the youth progress

Direct services to children and youth

  • Treatment planning, including participation in aftercare planning
  • Family consultation/case management at least weekly
  • Individual/family therapy from a master level professional
  • Educational planning and support
  • Recreational support
  • Independent living planning
  • Treatment team reviews of direction and progress

Other related services to children and youth

  • Working with schools or other educational resources
  • Arranging routine and specialized medical treatment
  • Arranging dental and eye care
  • Helping to locate part time employment
  • Connecting with extra curriculum activities, churches, youth groups, and other community resources

Things We Want You To Know


Christian Services for Children in Alabama (CSCA) wholeheartedly believes that strong families are the fabrics of our communities. We work and strive to provide excellence in our service delivery to children and their families. We understand our Therapeutic Foster Care Parents is the hub among the professional staff in the treatment of youth who have experienced various types of abuse and neglect. Our Therapeutic Foster Care Program is dedicated to helping these children and youths heal through the support of sound approaches and compassionate foster homes. Our therapeutic foster homes allow the child or youth to live in a “total setting” comparable to where the youth hopes to return- family, school and community. In the foster home setting, treatment is carried out in the youth daily living space. The youth length of stay is generally one to three years, depending upon their individual needs and outcomes. At the point when they have achieved their desired treatment goals; they may return back with natural family, adoption or live independently.


Our Therapeutic Foster Parents receive a stipend due to the complexity of the care provided.

Do You Believe You Are Good With Children?


We ask you to ponder these questions. If you feel you fit the descriptions listed below, you just may be the match for a child or youth who needs extra care.


  • Do you have experience caring for children?
  • Can you deal with a challenge?
  • Are you a good listener?
  • Are you willing to learn new ways to work with children?
  • Do you believe family is important?


To Become a Therapeutic Foster Care Parent

  • Be at least 25 years of age.
  • Available bedroom space.
  • Income or resources to meet your household needs
  • Reliable transportation
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Automobile insurance


For additional information, call our office at 1-888-875-0608 and ask for a therapeutic foster care staff member. This person will ask you some initial questions pertaining to your inquiry about therapeutic foster care. Following this initial contact, the next step may include your receipt of a complete application package. This completed package may be returned by mail or brought into our agency.


To complete this initial application by clicking here  Once your initial application is done, we will promptly follow up your interest by sending you a complete application package.


Pre-services Training and Home Study


In the State of Alabama, the Group Process and Selection Program (GPS) is the approved pre-service training curriculum required to become certified as a foster or adoptive home. This 30 hour program sets the context for understanding twelve skills necessary for becoming an effective foster and/or adoptive parent. These twelve skills includes the following topics : Know Your Family, Communicate Effectively, Know The Children, Build Strengths; Meet Needs, Work In Partnership, Be Loss And Attachment Experts, Manage Behaviors, Build Connections, Build Self- Esteem, Assure Health and Safety, Assess Impact, and Make An Informed Decision.


This curriculum is also offered through the Deciding Together Program which is designed for few individuals. Both models may last up to 10 weeks and provide an opportunity to explore if fostering is right for you and your family.

As part of the Therapeutic Foster Care Preservice Training an additional 10 hours of specialized training is required to meet the expectations for therapeutic foster care certification.



The home study process that Christian Services for Children in Alabama conducts is an essential part of the approval process. As part of the GPS training, you and your family will meet with a staff member at a minimum of two occasions to answer questions and provide other requirements. The staff member conducting the study will meet at your home to discuss your identified strengths and needs in preparation for you to become a therapeutic foster home resource. Other areas of discussion will include the following:


  • Educational background, employment history, religious affiliation, hobbies and child-raising experience
  • Motivation for fostering
  • Feelings about your own childhood and parents
  • Opinion about disciplining techniques
  • Attitudes toward abused and neglected children and their birth families
  • Attitudes toward different socioeconomic and cultural groups
  • Feelings about a foster child maintaining relationships with siblings
  • Ability to work with specific behaviors and issues



During this home study process, we will also ask you to provide documentation to meet the requirements set forth by the Department of Human Resources including:


  • ABI and FBI clearance for all adults 18 and older adults living in your home
  • CA/N Central Registry Clearance for all family members 14 and older living in your home
  • Medical reports on all family members living in your home
  • Documentation of marital status (if applicable)
  • Financial information
  • Three references on each adult person


Annual Training

Therapeutic Foster Parents must receive 24 hours of annual training as part of your annual home renewal. CSCA offers training on various topics through workshops, specialized readings and online program training.

Where Do These Children Come From

All referrals to CSCA come from the local County Department of Human Resources.



Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 February 2011 18:25

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