Therapeutic Foster Care

Therapeutic foster care (TFC) is a higher level of care provided for children in transition from residential treatment or whose needs cannot be met through a traditional foster care placement.


Therapeutic foster homes provide highly structured, around-the-clock care within a family setting. Children in TFC are between the ages of 6-21 and have a wide array of developmental, behavioral and emotional challenges.

Most children in TFC have successfully transitioned out of residential care but need additional time and support in a structured home setting before returning to a permanent home. At other times, children in a traditional foster care setting require more support and a TFC home placement may provide that right “step up” in care.

Ideally, the TFC stay should be no longer than six months. Longer stays must be approved by the child’s treatment team.

Being A TFC Family

Generally, TFC families have at least one year of previous experience providing traditional foster care. TFC families receive:

  • Extensive, specialized training to meet the elevated needs of the foster child
  • Monthly maintenance payments
  • 12 days of paid vacation per year and 2 respite days per month.
  • Additional 24/7 support from KVC Missouri, in-home support services, behavioral consultations, skilled supervision and emotional support.

Children in a TFC home receive additional support to help them make progress toward their treatment goals and transition into a permanent home.

TFC parents serve an important role as the primary change agent in the child’s life. You help the child develop positive relationships and social, emotional and behavioral skills. The child attends school in the family’s community, enabling you to work with the child’s teachers to oversee academic progress.

The child’s case manager works directly with you throughout the child’s stay to:

  • Identify treatment plan goals with you and the treatment team
  • Regularly evaluate treatment plan progress and make adjustments as needed
  • Coordinate all of the child’s necessary medical, mental health, educational, vocational and social support services.
  • Coordinate a strengths-based team approach for your family
  • Participate in family support/treatment team meetings

Ready To Become A TFC Home?

We’re happy to answer any questions you have about the TFC program or help you determine if it’s a good fit for a child in your care.

If you’re new to foster care, read more about becoming a traditional foster home. And then, when you’re ready to take the step to become a TFC family, we’ll be happy to guide you on your way … so you can begin guiding the journey of a youngster who needs you.

To connect to the person who handles foster parenting and TFC in your area, call toll free 1-844-424-3577.


The Joint Commission

Sponsors of this Program

Missouri Alliance for Children and Families
Missouri Department of Social Services – Children’s Division