PROSPECTIVE FOSTER PARENTS
We are so excited that you are considering becoming a licensed Therapeutic Foster Home. Continue reading to learn about Therapeutic Foster Care and how to become a licensed foster parent.
WHAT IS A LICENSED THERAPEUTIC FOSTER HOME?
Generally, there are several types of foster opportunities and each varies based on the type of care the youth requires. YBGR offers therapeutic foster care services to children with SED (severe emotional disturbance) diagnoses. These children have experienced things like neglect, abuse, trauma, unsafe home environment and abandonment. Depending on each individual case, reunification with biological family may or may not be the ultimate goal.
Therapeutic foster homes serve as a safe home for these children, either temporarily, long term, or in some cases, resulting in adoption.
HOW IS TFC DIFFERENT?
If you’ve considered becoming a foster parent, it’s likely you’ve seen terms like traditional foster care and therapeutic foster care but may be unsure what it means and how each program differs.
You are never alone! We work hard to provide you with the special training, resources, and support necessary to meet the individual needs of the youth. This support is real and the staff is available to you 24/7/365. We know that our foster parents play an important role in the lives of foster children and are the key factor for successful treatment outcomes. Our approach is rooted in Trauma-Informed Care, prevention services and programs that are underscored by the knowledge that positive reinforcement and support lead to the most enduring, healthy outcomes for children. That is why we provide regular training and support for our foster families with training, consulting and outreach services – we work with you as a team. Our dedicated staff is here to support you and provide ongoing help whenever you need it. As time passes, you will find this is a relief, and that it truly takes a village if you are to succeed.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO BE A TFC FOSTER PARENT?
YBGR and the State of Montana have basic criteria that prospective foster parents must meet before applying:
- 21 years of age or older
- Single, married or divorced
- Have adequate space for a child
- Have an income adequate for own family/to be financially stable
- Own or rent adequate housing
- Have adequate transportation for appointments and emergencies
- Good physical and mental health
- Ability to work as a team with the treatment team, child’s family, and other service providers
Foster parenting with YBGR requires that you must pass a background check, commit to intensive training and agree to participate as a member of the child’s team. You must also have a flexible schedule, and provide children and youth with a safe, nurturing and loving environment during a very difficult time in the child’s life.
We welcome foster parent applicants of every race and ethnicity, culture, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, and age who meet our certification criteria.
WHAT IS THE LICENSING PROCESS LIKE?
You and your partner and/or spouse must both be certified. It is required to pass a criminal history and background check, including fingerprints, home study visits and complete 33 hours of pre-service training provided by the State of Montana. We guide you through the certification process and qualifications to become a licensed foster parent with YBGR and the State of Montana. You will need to attend training classes that teach you about foster parenting, expectations, working with the family of origin and more. This process can take 4 to 8 weeks.
To learn more about certification and training, click here.
DOES A FOSTER CHILD NEED HIS/HER OWN ROOM?
You are required to provide the foster child with his/her own bedroom. A foster child with YBGR may not share a room.
WHAT ROLE WILL I PLAY IN SELECTING A CHILD?
We focus on finding a family for the child, rather than finding a child for a family. The child’s unique needs will be kept front and center, with the prospective family’s ability to care for that child being most important.
DO I HAVE A SAY IN THE CHILD ASSIGNED TO MY HOME?
Yes. You get a chance to learn about a prospective youth’s history and needs first and then decide if your family is a good fit. However, we ask that when you accept a placement that you be ready to commit for at least one year. This is in the best interest of the child. YBGR treats foster parents as professionals, and as such, we believe in setting you up to succeed by providing all the information we have about your foster child. We believe in full disclosure, transparency and the trust and partnerships that grow from that approach.
CAN A FOSTER CHILD BE PLACED IN MY HOME IF I HAVE MY OWN CHILDREN?
Yes. Many foster families have biological children. We typically do not place a foster child in a home where there are more than 4 children already in the home.
IS THERE FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR FOSTER PARENTS?
Yes. We know a child incurs an expense and expectations for those expenses will be outlined in your training – ex: $75 for clothing. You will be provided with a stipend of $850 per month to aid you in these expenses.
WHAT IF I NEED A BREAK?
YBGR offers respite care for all of our families and children. Respite is used when a foster family simply needs to take a break for a few days or if the foster family needs to be away for other reasons. It is a healthy part of the process and encourages growth in the relationship between foster youth and families.
DO YBGR FOSTER CHILDREN HAVE CONTACT WITH THEIR BIOLOGICAL PARENTS?
The goal for every YBGR foster child is to establish a stable, permanent environment to stabilize and thrive. Even while in foster care, the goal for reunification with their biological family members is desired, if possible. Every case is different and YBGR coordinates all visits between the foster child and biological family members if family reunification is needed. Foster parents typically have very limited contact with biological families.
CAN I CARE FOR MORE THAN ONE FOSTER CHILD AT A TIME?
We do not typically place more than one child in a home at a time. We will make exceptions in some cases, but our general guideline is one foster child per home. This helps to avoid overwhelming a foster parent and allows for greater focus on the foster child.