In certain situations–when a child or youth is experiencing emotional or behavioral challenges or is medically fragile–it may be appropriate to use treatment foster care (TFC), also known as therapeutic foster care. The following resources discuss the use of TFC and provide additional guidance.
The Kinship Treatment Foster Care Initiative Toolkit (PDF - 1,659 KB)
Foster Family-based 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.
Multi-Dimensional Treatment Foster Care (MTFC)
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
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.
Perspectives on Residential and Community-Based Treatment for Youth and Families (PDF - 114 KB)
Magellan Health Services & Children's Services Task Force (2008)
Discusses effective alternative community-based services for children who cannot be maintained safely in the home. This paper was developed in response to concerns about the reliance on residential treatment for children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbance and the underuse of evidence-based alternative treatments.
Therapeutic Foster Care: A Viable Option for Treating Youth in Families and in the Community (PDF - 190 KB)
National CASA Association & National Child Traumatic Stress Network (2007)
Judges' Page Newsletter
Describes the types of therapeutic foster care and how TFC differs from community-based residential placements.
Transitioning Foster Youth to Less Restrictive Settings: Perspectives of Treatment Foster Parents
Castellanos-Brown & Lee (2010)
Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services, 91(2)
Discusses the lack of research on transitioning youth from group settings to family settings such as treatment foster care. The article provides the perspectives of treatment foster parents on when the transition is appropriate and phases for a smooth transition to family settings.