So you’re interested in becoming a therapeutic foster parent? Great! There is a huge need here in Arizona. Getting started can seem like a daunting process, but we are here to help! Every agency does things a little differently and has their own process for new families. At HSC, the process is one of mutual selection; it is just as important that you feel that HSC can support you, as we do that your family is a good fit for our agency.
At HSC the first step is to connect with a member of our staff. During this phone call or initial conversation, we will answer any questions that you may have, explain the process to you and ask you a few questions to ensure that you meet some of the basic licensing requirements such as:
- Ability for you, and all adult household members, obtain a Level One Finger Print Clearance Card
- Space in your home (each therapeutic foster child requires a room of their own)
- Flexibility in your work schedule to accommodate a child
- Support from family and household members
- Experience working with people with behavioral health needs
- Are you already licensed as a foster parent?
Next, we schedule an in-home orientation and initial interview. Our orientation presentation is our formal introduction of HSC and our staff to you and your family, as well as the difference between therapeutic foster care and other types of foster care licenses. The initial interview starts the process of compiling information for your home study and getting to know your family. We start to ask some personal questions, but it is important that we have a good understanding of who you are and if there would be any barriers that we can help you address before moving forward with training.
After the interview, you will be approved to start training. Like community foster care, Therapeutic Foster Care requires that foster parents take Foster Parent College, the state’s curriculum. This training is a hybrid online and in person training that requires in class attendance for a consecutive five weeks. After the completion of Foster Parent College, Therapeutic Foster Parents will take specialized training that goes more in detail regarding trauma and helping to heal trauma in children.
Once you have completed the training, a HSC licensing worker will start writing your home study in which we compile interviews with the family in the home, references, budget sheets, physicals, and other necessary information to present to the state. Once the state has reviewed the home study your foster care licenses will be issued.
If you are already licensed as a foster parent with another agency but are interested in working with therapeutic children with HSC, we will still want to meet you and give you a chance to get to know HSC. Your homestudy, however will still be valid and the training you have taken will still count. There are some additional training requirements for Therapeutic foster parents, but training is offered in house at HSC and we can help you accommodate these trainings.
At HSC, the process takes about 4-6 months. This is a long process but well worth it. Agency staff is with you every step of the way and available to answer any and all questions you have.