Children enter foster care when they've been in situations in which they've been abused, neglected, have experienced a significant loss, or have otherwise not had their needs met. The experience of being taken out of their home can bring about feelings of confusion, anxiety, fear, grief, anger, and loss of control. Providing care for young people that have all of these experiences and feelings can be difficult, but for those who make the commitment, it can be a rewarding and life changing experience!
Therapeutic Foster parents are very special people. They bring children in need into their homes and into their hearts for days, months, and years, and sometimes permanently. They provide a combination of hard work and heart work. Through the giving of time, energy, love, guidance, and patience, therapeutic foster parents make a difference in the lives of the children and families in need.
Most people don’t decide to become a therapeutic foster parent overnight. It’s something that they take time to think about it, discuss it with their family, and even pray about it – and that’s a good thing!
We want you and your family to be comfortable with your choice to open your heart and your home to a youth or a sibling group in need. And we want you to know that if you feel called to pursue becoming a therapeutic foster parent, we’ll be with you, every step of the way!
The process to become a therapeutic foster parent involves a series of steps designed to allow us to get to know you, your family, and your motivation to become a foster parent, and to help us determine the type of foster child that would best fit into your family. The process is also a time for you to get to know more about foster parenting, SCYAP, and how as a therapeutic foster parent, you can make a difference in the life of a youth, a family, and even your community.
To begin the process of becoming a therapeutic foster parent, you will meet with our specially trained staff who will walk you through the process of gathering the required documentation, scheduling your foster parenting training, conducting your family assessment or “home study” and working with you each step of the way to become a licensed therapeutic foster parent.
It’s not too hard to become a therapeutic foster parent but there are some minimum requirements that you, your family, and your home must meet.
You must be at least 21 years of age.
You can be male or female and any race or religion.
You can be single, married, widowed, divorced, or have a room-mate or life partner.
You don’t have to have a lot of money to be a therapeutic foster parent, but you do need to be able to make ends meet. Therapeutic Foster parents must show that they can take on the additional expenses of having additional children in their home and they cannot be dependent upon the daily foster parent payment as their source of income.
You can be a therapeutic foster parent whether you own or rent your home. It doesn’t matter if it is an apartment, mobile home, or a house. It just has to be safe and have enough room for additional children to live, play and sleep. Therapeutic Foster parents are required to pass fire, safety, and health inspections and have home owners or renters insurance.
You and any other adult household member (age 18 or older) must undergo and pass background checks, including a review of past child abuse and neglect charges and a criminal background check through SLED and the FBI, and not be listed on either the State and National Sex Offender Registry.
You and all other household members (including any children residing in your home) must have a physical examination by a qualified medical professional that verifies that you (and all other household members) are in good physical and mental health.
To help you understand how to care for foster children, you will have to go to training before and during your time as a therapeutic foster parent.
View full Foster Care Licensing Standards
We need foster families who are willing to take on the challenges of working with children with special needs (problematic behavior, severe medical conditions, etc.). We need foster families who are able and willing to stick with a child placed in their home and to be his/her only, or at least last, placement until permanency is reached through return home, adoption, or guardianship. We need foster families that are able and willing to keep sibling groups together.
We need foster families able and willing to work with the child’s family to promote reunification. We need families interested in possibly adopting the child(ren) they take into their homes when the child(ren) is/are unable to be reunified with the birth families.
As a foster parent, you can have an immeasurable influence and change the life of a child!
Complete an inquiry form that will allow SCYAP to know that you are interested in learning more about becoming a foster parent. A SCYAP representative will contact you to follow up on your inquiry. There is no obligation – just an opportunity to explore the possibility of becoming a foster parent.
Therapeutic Foster Care Services
Medically Fragile Services
Short-Term TFC Services
Short-Term Alternative Placements (STAP)
Community Training Homes
TFC FAQS / Become a Foster Parent / TFC County Coverage / Foster Parent Inquiry Form / Contact Us