Become a Therapeutic Foster Parent

What is Therapeutic Foster Care

Teen in foster care speaks with her Therapeutic Foster Care Mother.

Therapeutic Foster Care (or Treatment Foster Care) provides a stable home for children and adolescents with significant emotional, behavioral, or social needs. The foster parents who care for this population are qualified and specially trained to build a bridge between therapy and every day life for a child placed in their home. 

Compared to the traditional foster care system, Therapeutic Foster Care is a more structured environment that incorporates trauma informed therapy-based practices for children and adolescents with a greater need for behavioral, emotional, or social support.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes! Unfortunately there is a great need for qualified and passionate foster parents to create a safe, stable, and loving home for children in therapeutic foster care.

Children and adolescents between the ages of 4 and 17 can be admitted to the Therapeutic Foster Care program. These children come into care due to abuse and neglect.  In other cases, children may require out of home care due to their behavioral health issues.

Children and adolescents placed in our foster care programs have a variety of histories and backgrounds, as well as behavioral and emotional challenges, including severe difficulties with functioning in the family, school setting, and/or the community. Children with delays in development, inadequate interpersonal skills, and a possible history of community disruptions (i.e., contacts with police, courts, and mental health system), may also be accepted for foster placement. The greatest need for treatment foster parents is for those willing to care  for children ages 8-15.

  • Have verifiable employment, skills, and experience caring for children with behavioral health/special needs
    • Those that have a bachelor’s degree in behavioral health, psychology, social work, or another closely related field may be considered in lieu of experience
  • Ability to obtain DPS Level 1 Fingerprint Clearance Card
  • Ability to transport children to all required appointments
  • Have an available bedroom for each foster child
  • Ability to complete all initial training (approximately 60 hours over a 4-6  month period)

Please contact HSC for more information regarding requirements. 

The first step for becoming a Therapeutic Foster Parent is to get in touch with someone from our agency.  They will go over an initial phone screening with you to make sure you meet some of the basic requirements and schedule  a time to complete an Orientation with your family.

The initial training and licensure process lasts around 4-6 months, during this time you will be completing training, paperwork, and home study interviews.  Once your license is granted from the state and you receive placement, the time requirements vary by child.  We ask that our parents have the flexibility in their schedules to prioritize therapy visits, doctors appointments, or unplanned obligations that arise.  You will be the primary provider for the child and responsible for ensuring that their needs are met.

Throughout the licensing process HSC will get to know your family and your family’s preferences.  You have the ability to make crucial choices about the children in your home including age, gender, behaviors, etc. Our dedicated Matching and Placement Coordinator works closely with your family to ensure that you are a good fit for the children.

HSC will assign you a dedicated Clinical Support Specialists (CSS) who will work hard as an advocate for you.  Your FSS will complete home visits, attend Child and Family Team Meetings with you, and be available to support with your questions or other needs.  HSC offers in house advanced trainings for all of our foster parents as well as social events throughout the year. For those times when you need alternative supervision, HSC can help facilitate the care of your placement.  Outside of HSC, there are amazing organizations in Arizona that help supply funds for everything from first aid kits, to ballet slippers, and even occasionally tickets to Disneyland! Your FSS can help connect you with these resources.  Make sure and check out our Resources Page to learn more!

Yes! Foster parents work hard and deserve a break! HSC is always licensing respite providers to allow that much needed rest for foster parents.  Respite providers go through the training and licensing process, and depending on the license, are able to provide services in their own home or in a foster parents home, for a night, a weekend, or longer if needed.