What Is Treatment Foster Care?
Treatment foster care, also called therapeutic foster care, is designed to provide safe and nurturing care to a child or youth in a more structured home environment than typical foster care, and it can be a cost-effective alternative to residential treatment. This section includes publications and websites that provide information about treatment foster care. Resources include State and local examples.
Foster Family-based Treatment Association
Strengthens agencies that support families caring for vulnerable children in an effort to define and refine treatment foster care practices.
Characteristics and Trajectories of Treatment Foster Care Youth
Hussey & Shenyang
Child Welfare: Journal of Policy, Practice and Program, 84(4), 2005
Profiles 119 youth in treatment foster care and constructs behavioral change trajectories for a subset of 97 children. The number of previous out-of-home placements was positively associated with increased levels of psychiatric symptomatology.
Components of Therapeutic Foster Care (PDF - 238 KB)
Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law (2006)
In Appendix B of Order granting plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction in Katie A. v. Bonta Explains therapeutic foster care and reviews the goals and components of therapeutic foster care.
Treatment Family Foster Care: Its History and Current Role in the Foster Care Continuum
Dore & Mullin
Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services, 8(4), 2006 Reviews the historical development in the United States of treatment family foster care as an alternative to psychiatric hospitalization or long-term residential treatment of children and youth with serious emotional and behavioral disorders.
Program Standards for Treatment Foster Care
Foster Family-based Treatment Association (2004)
Presents 73 standards designed to assist agencies in the development of high-quality treatment foster care services for children and families.
User's Guide to Measuring Consumer Satisfaction in Treatment Foster Care (PDF - 335 KB)
Foster Family-based Treatment Association (2010)
Explores the relationship between treatment outcomes and consumer satisfaction in children's mental health services, provides information on methods for measuring consumer satisfaction in children's services, and more.
State and local examples
Behavioral Rehabilitative Services Handbook (PDF - 399 KB)
Department of Social and Health Services, Washington State Children's Administration (2010)
Provides information on an intensive support and treatment program that is designed to assist children with behavioral/emotional disturbances as well as developmental disabilities in transitioning to a less restrictive environment.
The Oregon Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care Model
Shepard & Chamberlain (2005)
In Outcomes for Children and Youth with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders and Their Families: Programs and Evaluation Best Practices
Reviews the theoretical basis for Oregon's Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care Program (MTFC) model. The chapter provides information on treatment components, staff roles, and evidence demonstrating that MTFC is an effective approach for working with youth with delinquent behavior who are involved in the juvenile justice system, as well as children and adolescents referred by the mental health and child welfare systems.
Promoting Permanency: Successful Exits From Therapeutic Group Care Through Family and Community Reintegration [Video]
Casey Family Programs, Travis County Health and Human Services, & Texas Child Protective Services (2009)
Raises awareness about the importance of permanency for youth who have spent time in foster care, especially those with complex mental and behavioral needs. The video features the stories of three families who were successfully reunited through the Child Protective Services Reintegration Pilot Project in Travis County, Texas. A discussion guide (PDF - 536 KB) for facilitators is also available.
Service Process and Quality in Therapeutic Foster Care: An Exploratory Study of One County System
Pavlov, Hug, Lourie, & Negash
OJournal of Social Service Research, 36(3), 2010
Assesses the quality of services for children in the therapeutic foster care programs used by one county in the Midwest by using a consultative quality assurance review methodology.