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What Is Treatment Foster Care?

treatment foster care

Treatment foster care (TFC), sometimes referred to as therapeutic foster care, is a form of specialized foster care for youth with elevated mental, behavioral or medical needs. Treatment foster care is designed to provide youth with a more structured environment than that of general foster care. TFC providers receive more training, support and resources than those who provide traditional foster care.  

In many cases, youth with elevated needs receive treatment in a residential hospital or center. Treatment foster care can act as an alternative to this or as a supportive transition after they’ve been discharged, since TFC providers undergo extensive training. TFC providers provide a more hands-on role in caring for a youth than that of general foster care providers. This often requires families to have a more flexible work schedule than traditional foster parents. As a result, TFC providers receive a higher reimbursement rate and work directly with the youth’s care team.   

Why Are Children in Foster Care? 

All families face challenges at times, and in some instances a wide range of factors can cause parents to become unable to care for their children. Missouri foster care provides a temporary arrangement for a child when they are not able to live with their biological parents or other natural caregivers. During this time, child welfare professionals work to find the best possible relative, foster family or other placement option for that child until they can safely return home or a permanency plan is identified.  

Reasons Why Children Enter Foster Care 

  • Child Abuse and/or Neglect: Most of the children and teens in foster care have experienced child abuse or neglect in some capacity. Each state determines how physical, sexual and emotional abuse are defined, and youth enter foster care if it meets these criteria. Neglect can include physical neglect, medical neglect or lack of supervision. Physical neglect includes but is not limited to failure to provide the child with food, clothing or shelter necessary to sustain the life or health of the child. 
  • Incarceration: A child may enter foster care when no family or friends are available to care for the child during a parent’s incarceration. 
  • Abandonment: A child may enter foster care if they have been left at home for an extended period of time or have been dropped off at another residence.

Benefits of Being a Treatment Foster Care Provider 

  • Undergo free, specialized training to meet the needs of the youth in your care 
  • Play a large role as part of the youth’s treatment team 
  • Enjoy paid respite days 
  • Receive a higher reimbursement rate than that of general foster care to meet the needs of the child. 
  • Have access to 24/7 support from KVC, including therapists and additional supervision for the youth as well as support groups and therapists for TFC parents 

The Need for Treatment Foster Care Providers Is Greater Than Ever 

Please consider whether you can provide a home for a child or teen as a foster parent. If you’ve considered it in the past and decided the timing wasn’t right, consider it now! To learn more or to take the next step toward foster parenting, click here to learn how to become a treatment foster care provider in Missouri.