LICENSING OF THERAPEUTIC FOSTER PARENTS
We guide you through the certification process and qualifications to become a licensed therapeutic foster parent with YBGR and the State of Montana. You will need to attend training classes that teach you about therapeutic foster parenting, expectations, working with the family of origin and more.
Most people who apply to become a therapeutic foster parent have thought about it for a long time and are usually anxious to complete. We make sure our families are fully prepared and supported throughout the certification process.
We are very excited to have new therapeutic foster parents join our team!
TIMELINE TO BECOME A LICENSED TFC FOSTER PARENT
- You will have an initial meeting with your TFC Recruiter to talk about the certification timeline considering your schedule. You will have the opportunity to ask any questions and voice any concerns you have. The TFC Recruiter will give you the application packet, talk about our required references, and schedule pre-service training with you.
- In the time between your initial meeting and pre-service, you will be asked to complete your application packet and provide four required references.
- You will attend pre-service training with our TFC Recruiter. This training lasts two days and you will receive 16 hours of training credit.
- Schedule a Qualifying Home Study with our Family Resource Specialist who will inspect and complete a preparation summary/home study. Home studies provide comprehensive family social histories, highlight individual strengths for therapeutic foster parenting and determine the type of child/youth that would be most successful in your home. The Family Resource Specialist will schedule 2-3 more home visits with you to complete the entire home study.
- TFC Recruiter will work with you to complete consent paperwork on background checks and fingerprints(for each adult in the household). All adults in the household must pass. This part of the process can take up to 3 to 4 weeks.
- Family Resource Specialist will complete a Home Safety Checklist with you, which includes assuring that there is adequate bedroom space for child and the home provides a safe, friendly environment.
- You will complete 17 hours of additional training independently. Hours can be completed through reading books, watching videos, listening to podcasts, and/or attending more formal training. YBGR provides monthly 2-hour trainings to all YBGR foster parents.
- After an acceptable Background Check, the Family Resource Specialist will complete a final home visit and finalize all paperwork with you.
- After the State of Montana approves your Licensing Request, you will receive a certificate and provider number.
- Ready the Safety Section and Therapeutic foster Parent Manual and complete Home Compliance Checklist.
Congratulations! You are now ready to place a child in your home.
EXPECTATIONS ON YOUR HOME STUDY
Home studies are required for every family applying to be a foster parent. This study is a basic overview of your life – including criminal background checks, your finances and even your personal relationships. It is used to assess if a stable environment exists for a family to receive a placement.
This is especially important for Therapeutic foster families. Home studies allow for discussion on trauma in your life that could be a barrier to providing stable care. YBGR uses this process to talk through these experiences to better understand each family’s trauma history, and to provide support in the journey to fostering.
Logistically, home studies consist of 3-4 home visits by a YBGR staff, each lasting 2-3 hours. This process involves completing questionnaires with discussion, collecting reference letters from friends and families, and discussing your personal life with and without your partner. These visits can seem intrusive at times but can be a great time to discover any tough spots or trauma in your past that may need further thought.
YBGR staff is trained to complete home studies with a focus on providing a safe, non-judgmental environment to explore your life. We understand this process can seem overwhelming and are here to provide support along with confidentiality. Home studies are compiled by YBGR staff and sent securely to the State of Montana with your foster care application.
ONCE YOU RECEIVE YOUR LICENSE
You will receive a certificate that provides you a provider number that uniquely identifies your home, along with your length of license. Typically, licenses last a year. Foster families have the responsibility of working with YBGR each year to renew their licenses. Please see Foster Parent Resources to learn more about relicensure.
Once you are licensed, YBGR will start to discuss potential placements and respite opportunities for you as we receive referrals. Families and staff will discuss the youth’s trauma history and needs before moving forward to considering a placement. Families always have the opportunity to decline a placement, and/or to ask for more information before accepting a placement.
You will also become a part of our foster family network, which includes a monthly newsletter, monthly training offerings, and support from YBGR staff. To learn more about resources offered to you, see Foster Parent Resources.