Treatment foster care (TFC), also called therapeutic foster care, is out-of-home care by foster parents with specialized training to care for a wide variety of children and adolescents, usually those with significant emotional, behavioral, or social issues or medical needs. Treatment 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. Foster parents typically receive additional supports and services. This section includes publications and websites that provide information about treatment foster care. This section includes publications and websites that provide information about treatment foster care. Resources include State and local examples.
Evidence-Based Practices Resource Center
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2017)
Lists organizations' websites that cover evidence-based practices in mental health treatment.
The Kinship Treatment Foster Care Initiative Toolkit
Family Focused Treatment Association (2015)
Promotes the use of public-private partnerships to assist children in kinship care with their social, behavioral, and emotional challenges (treatment needs) while they remain in a stable environment with a relative or adult. The toolkit includes barriers for kinship treatment foster care and State examples of successful kinship treatment foster care.
Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care–Adolescents
Defines MTFC, including its theory and key element. The webpage also provides recommended populations for this intervention, considerations for juvenile drug courts, and specific engagement strategies for youth involved in multiple systems.
What Is Therapeutic Foster Care?
Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth (2019)
Describes therapeutic foster care and how parents learn parenting skills and behavioral coping skills to assist with their child's physical and emotional well-being.
What is Is Therapeutic Foster Care? Six Things You Should Know
Discusses therapeutic foster care, how it benefits children and youth with specific emotional and behavioral challenges, how to prepare families and what types of training are required to qualify as treatment foster care parents, and more.
Behavioral Rehabilitative Services Handbook (PDF - 921 KB)
Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Children's Administration (2019)
Provides information on an intensive support and treatment program designed to assist children with behavioral and emotional disturbances as well as developmental disabilities in transitioning to a less restrictive environment. Chapter 9 is dedicated to treatment foster care.
Treatment Foster Care
Pressley Ridge (2018)
Explains the treatment foster care model used in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, and Delaware; who can become a treatment foster parents; and the benefits of becoming a treatment foster care parent.