What is the difference between a Therapeutic Foster Parent and the Traditional Foster Care Program?
At SCYAP there are two different programs that use and need foster parents: Therapeutic Foster Care and the Traditional Foster Care Program.
It can get a little confusing to try to figure out the difference between these two programs, but they are in fact distinctive services and the requirements and expectations of the foster parents providing Therapeutic Foster Care or Traditional Foster Care are also different. While both Therapeutic and Traditional Foster Care provide a nurturing, safe, and caring home to children who require placement away from their families, the intensity of the service and role of the foster parent is different. A family licensed by SCYAP can provide both Therapeutic Foster Care and Traditional Foster Care, as a separate/distinct service or at the same time, depending on the status and needs of the child(ren) placed in their home.
Therapeutic Foster Care and Therapeutic Foster Parents: Therapeutic Foster Care is a higher level of care provided by SCYAP for youth who have complex needs and require a higher level of supervision, structure and support than those served through traditional foster care. Therapeutic foster parents receive intensive training prior to becoming licensed and throughout their tenure as therapeutic foster parents so that they can meet the needs of these youth. In Therapeutic Foster Care, SCYAP assigns a caseworker (we call them Treatment Coordinators) to each therapeutic foster parent to provide support, guidance and training and to assist with the case management needs of the youth. Therapeutic Foster parents become part of the youth’s treatment team and provide treatment services/interventions (such as skill building or behavior modification) to the youth. Because the needs of the youth in therapeutic foster care are greater and the expectations of the therapeutic foster parent are higher than those in traditional foster care, the reimbursement for therapeutic foster care services is higher than that of traditional foster care.
Traditional Foster Care Program and Traditional Foster Families: The Traditional Foster Care Program is a collaborative program between SCYAP and the South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS). Through this program SCYAP provides placement services to children in foster care who need a safe and nurturing placement but do not require the intensity of therapeutic services. SCYAP does provide limited support services to families who provide traditional foster care, but for the most part, case management and planning for the children in the traditional foster home is the responsibility of DSS.
Link: Foster Parent Inquiry Form