Therapeutic Foster Care
HRT supports the intervention of Therapeutic Foster Care (formerly HCTC Foster Care) as a way to merge the foster care programs and behavioral health. We believe the TFC program is an essential part of the continuum within both the Child Welfare and Behavioral Health systems, providing support for children with complex behavioral health issues. Our program is supervised by degreed professionals that have over 30 years’ worth of experience in foster care and behavioral health.
What is Therapeutic Foster Care (formerly HCTC Foster Care)?
Therapeutic foster care matches experienced adults with children with complex behavioral health needs. TFC providers offer their home and family life to children, while committing to working on specific therapeutic goals with the child. TFC providers are licensed foster families through the State of Arizona and abide by the 12 Principles of the Arizona Behavioral Health System.
What are the requirements to be a Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC) provider?
Providers must have at least one primary provider that has a minimum of 1 year of behavioral health experience with directly with children that have complex behavioral health needs, a related degree and 1 year of experience, or a minimum of 1-year active foster care experience. Parents will be required to provide proof of this experience. Other Requirements are as follows but not exclusive of:
- Level 1 Fingerprint clearance card and clean background checks, including public records searches
- A safe and clean home that can accommodate children with complex behavioral health issues and meets the Life Safety Standards in Arizona’s Title 21 licensing standards.
- Pass a home safety inspection conducted by the HRT designee and by the State of Arizona Office of Licensing and Regulation.
- Complete extensive home study of the home and all family members, including a 10-year residential history, employment history, financial history and criminal history.
- Must have safe and reliable transportation
- Training requirements: Foster Parent College (30 hours), First Aid/CPR, the Arizona TFC Curriculum (18 hours), psychopharmacology/medication training, de-escalation training, record keeping/ documentation training and quarterly ongoing/advanced trainings that may include the requirements above. A minimum of 24 hours of advanced training is required yearly.
- And most importantly…must love children!
How is the licensing process different as a therapeutic foster care (TFC) provider?
The process begins similar to regular foster family homes, by completing an initial questionnaire to assess your family’s environment and basic eligibility. Then a member of our behavioral health team conducts an interview to assure you meet the additional experience and supervision requirements of TFC. Families will also complete additional training prior to licensure compared to regular foster family homes.
How is therapeutic foster care (TFC) different than other levels of foster care here in Arizona?
Therapeutic Foster Care and traditional foster care are two distinct program models intended to serve different populations.
Therapeutic Foster Care is a clinical and cost-effective alternative to residential treatment facilities, that combines the treatment technologies, typically associated with more restrictive settings, with a nurturing and individualized family environment.
In Arizona, it is used as the least restrictive environment within the community, and the child must meet the minimum medical necessity criteria as determined by the child’s assigned RBHA. Children are referred to TFC to address their serious levels of emotional, behavioral and medical problems. Therapeutic Foster Care is active and structured, with interventions occurring in the TFC provider family home while working closely with the contracted behavioral health agencies.
Regular foster care provides nurturing, safe, and custodial care for children who require placement outside of their family. The primary reason for placement in regular foster care is the need for care and protection. The role of the foster parent is that of caregiver and nurturer. Treatment, if any, occurs outside of the foster home.
What is the average length of stay for TFC children? Where do children in TFC transition to after my home?
TFC is designed to be a short-term intervention and allow children to move back to a less restrictive environment. The length of stay averages from 9-16 months depending on the needs of the child. After the child’s therapeutic goals are met, a child may transition home to their family, to a regular foster family, a group home, or to an adoptive home, depending on their case plan.