Therapeutic Foster Care FAQs and Benefits
Therapeutic Foster Care FAQs
Alexander Youth Network provides two therapeutic foster care programs to children in North Carolina. Both, our traditional Therapeutic Foster Care program and Intensive Alternative Family Therapy program provide children structured and caring home environments.
Through both programs, foster parents are trained in trauma-informed best practices to help manage the mental and behavioral challenges that many foster children face. They also partner with biological parents, permanent foster parents, and our clinical team to create and manage treatment goals and track the child or adolescent’s progress.
The difference between the three types of foster care is solely the training that foster parents must complete and the treatment environment required by Department of Social Services or a clinician. Though many children in the foster care system have experienced trauma or are faced with mental and behavioral health challenges only specialized and therapeutic foster parents are trained in best practices to provide those children with a safe healing environment.
- Foster Care/ Specialized Foster Care –
- Youth may have experienced trauma
- Training includes: MAPPS program
- Therapeutic Foster Care
- Youth may have experienced trauma and have been diagnosed with mental or behavioral health challenges
- Training includes: MAPPS program, Together Facing The Challenge, Pressley Ridge Model for Therapeutic Foster Parents, and IAFT Training class (optional)
Like all children, the children at Alexander are in need of consistency and patience. Many of the children at Alexander have experienced trauma leading to their mental or behavioral health challenges. These experiences have created challenges which they can overcome with supportive role models, healthy living environments, and healthy coping skills. Therapeutic Foster Parents at Alexander is provide children with the tools to heal past their trauma
We encourage anyone who wants to make a difference to apply to be a foster parent. To align with state requirements for licensure parents must:
- Be at least 21 years old
- Have available space in their home
- Have less three children already living in the home
- Complete necessary screenings and training
Therapeutic foster parents at Alexander are provided with consistent support from the team at Alexander, as well as the clinical team for each child. In addition to the necessary training, parents who are open, patient, and consistent are successful in providing a safe and structured home for children and youth at Alexander.
Foster parents at Alexander do not have to pay to be a part of the program. Parents receive a monthly stipend for each month that a child is in placement in their home. Additionally, the Alexander Children’s Foundation offers financial assistance for programs and costs that would aid in a child’s healing but may be a financial constraint for parents.
Alexander Youth Network provides all parents with training before and after licensure and placement. Parents are also provided with a Treatment Coach who will be your go-to support system. Other supports systems include:
- 24/7/365 crisis support, if needed
- Respite two days a month
- Parent support groups
- Financial support, if needed, from Alexander Children’s Foundation
Including the application process, training, licensure, and placement – the entire process to become a parent can take between 4 to 9 months. Both a background check and DNA screen are required prior to enrolling in the 30-hour training program at Alexander. Potential parents are also required to complete a fire inspection which will be conducted in your home, fingerprinting, and physicals for all household members.
The primary goal of therapeutic foster care is to transition the child to their biological/ permanent family members or to a traditional foster home and/or long-term placement. However there are occasions when parents from the program at Alexander Youth Network have been able to adopt the child they are providing care for.
Children and youth in the program at Alexander are recommended therapeutic foster care as a part of their treatment program before transitioning to their biological or permanent home. Some of the children at Alexander may be reunited with their parents while other may have guardians or permanent foster care parents to take care of them long-term.
All AYN foster parents are provided with the following:
- Certification in Together Facing The Challenge and Pressley Ridge Model for Therapeutic Foster Care
- Certification in Intensive Alternative Family Therapy
- North Carolina licensure support
- Transition support prior to placement
- Only one child is placed in a home to focus on their individual needs*
- Treatment coaches and 24/7/365 crisis support and consultation
- Peer support and networking opportunities
- Monthly stipend*
- Respite services two days a month*
- Parent Support Groups
- Financial support, if necessary from Alexander Children’s Foundation
*Please note that placement is based on the needs of a child and the number of children placed in one home can vary. Stipend and respite services also vary based on the programmatic needs of a child.
To start the process of becoming a therapeutic foster parent and making a difference to a child at Alexander Youth Network complete the form below.