Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC) is a term used to describe a special type of foster home that offers a higher level of care than traditional foster care. Foster parents for these homes are actively being recruited in many of Oregon’s counties. Therapeutic foster homes are funded, supported, and managed by GOBHI. GOBHI TFC homes are designed to serve youth ages 4-17 who would benefit from an alternative living situation. Children in our homes are in need of a higher level of care, structure and supervision than traditional family foster care. Providing this level of care creates opportunities for children to stay in their communities and helps prevent their placement in treatment facilities.
GOBHI provides support to our foster parents in a number of ways. Foster parents receive high financial compensation, planned respite care, access to 24 hour crisis intervention, and a social services provider to support them with issues that arise in the youth’s placement. Foster parents must pass certification standards and screening processes, as well as a required training course.
Children placed in therapeutic foster homes often have behaviors that necessitate increased need for structure, supervision and additional parent support. Often times the youth we serve are already part of the child welfare system and are living in foster care due to the abuse or neglect of their biological families. Children are often referred due to several behavioral challenges stemming from their experience of early trauma. These behaviors include depression, aggression, and other maladaptive behaviors. Foster parents work with the child to help him or her problem solve ways to manage the feelings creating these behaviors, and children develop skills that may be missing. Parents are also provided a social services coordinator to support them with issues that arise in the youth’s placement.
A child in therapeutic foster care living in the home looks to their foster family for understanding, guidance, help in building a community of resources, and support for their healing process. They are looking for a safe, stable and nurturing family. They are looking for hope. Therapeutic Foster parents spend time daily, working on skill building with their child, as well as additional hours on helping the child achieve academically. They provide 2-3 recreational activities a week for children and provide opportunities to interact as a family and create social relationships. Foster Parents are responsible for scheduling and attending medical and dental appointments as well as attending school functions and other community events. Parents serve as a community guide and advocate. The role of a foster parent is to provide a safe, caring, enriching atmosphere for the child in their care. Length of stay is contingent on a contract basis. Children’s needs, age, and behaviors are matched to the potential home's strengths. Parents are always given all of the information available about a child in order to help them make a decision about placement and see if they are the right match for their home.
While having experience working in the field of child abuse is helpful, curiosity and willingness to ask for help have proven to be the most useful qualities therapeutic foster parents can possess.
Our parents succeed in helping children thrive when they are innovative, optimistic and nurturing. Being successful often requires foster parents to experience their own personal growth. Willingness to look at your own patterns of behaviors becomes a key asset in creating a healing environment.
Foster parents are heavily supported by GOBHI Social Service Providers in each region. Foster parents are provided one-on-one help as well as group support and 24 hour crisis help. Foster parents are provided ongoing training opportunities and respite breaks monthly to help them recharge to do this work. Therapeutic foster parents are essential to the outcomes of children in GOBHI care.
Director of Foster Care
Childrens Program Supervisor
TFC Training Specialist