Become a Foster Parent
In May, SC DSS reported there is still a need for more than 2,100 foster families across SC.
Learning more about foster care and how to become a foster parent is the first step to helping. Submit an inquiry to let us know you are interested, and a SCYAP representative will contact you as soon as possible.
There is no obligation – just an opportunity to learn more and help children in foster care.
When families are unable to provide acceptable care to their children, or if there is abuse, neglect or risk of harm present in the home, a child can be taken into state custody and placed in foster care.
While in foster care the child will be placed in an alternative living situation, such as a foster home. Foster care is meant to be temporary, lasting only as long as it takes for the family to make changes so that the child can return to a safe and stable home. If the decision is made that a child cannot return home, he or she will remain in foster care until placed in the care of a relative, adopted or emancipated.
At SCYAP, there are two different kinds of foster care: Therapeutic Foster Care and Traditional Foster Care. 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 services provided to the children and youth and role of the foster parent is different.
SCYAP foster parents can provide either Therapeutic Foster Care or Traditional Foster Care, or they can provide both Therapeutic Foster Care and Traditional Foster Care (at the same time or independently), depending on the status and needs of the child(ren)/youth placed in their home.
Therapeutic Foster Care serves children and youth who have complex needs (emotional, behavioral, psychological, developmental, and/or medical) and require a higher level of intervention, supervision, structure and support than those served through traditional foster care. Therapeutic Foster care placements keep children and youth out of in-patient hospitals, residential treatment programs and group homes.
Foster parents seeking to provide therapeutic services must complete specialized pre-service and on-going training so that the needs of the children and youth in this specialized service can be met. In Therapeutic Foster Care, SCYAP assigns a caseworker (we call them Treatment Coordinators) to each foster parent/home to provide support, guidance and training and to assist with care coordination. Foster parents serving children in Therapeutic Foster Care become part of the child/youth’s treatment team and provide treatment services/interventions (such as skill building and behavior management). Because the needs of the children and youth in therapeutic foster care are greater and the expectations of the foster parent are higher, the daily per diem paid to the foster parent is higher than that of traditional foster care.