Family Foster Care Services provide children and youth with protection, care, and nurturance by certified or licensed foster parents in private homes. Support services are provided to the family to facilitate reunification with the child. If reunification is not an option, the organization works to ensure the child is placed in another permanent living arrangement.
Therapeutic Foster Care Services provide children whose exceptional needs cannot be met in their own homes, or in regular family foster care homes, with intensive supportive and clinical services in the homes of specially trained foster parents. Foster parents provide interventions and treatment, protection, care, and nurturance to meet the medical, developmental, and/or psychiatric needs of children. Children may have: emotional or behavioral disorders; physical disabilities; developmental disabilities; severe or life threatening illnesses; or conditions that require the routine use of a medical device and/or daily ongoing care or monitoring. Therapeutic programs can serve children involved with the child welfare, mental health, and juvenile justice systems.
Note: References to “parents” may include: biological parents, adoptive parents, or legal guardians of a child prior to placement in foster care. The term “children” is used throughout the foster care standards for ease, and includes infants, toddlers, school age children, and youth.
Note: Please note, all Administration and Management Standards and Service Delivery Administration Standards that are applicable to foster parents specifically reference foster parents within the standard. If foster parents are not specifically addressed in the standard, it does not apply to foster parents.
Note: Foster Care to Adoption Services will complete: all of FC and AS 2, 3, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, and 14.
Note: Organizations that use kin and non-kin placements for their foster care program will be reviewed under the Foster Care (FC) and Kinship Care (KC) service sections. Please see Related Files, "FC-KC Template" and "FC and KC Crosswalk" for information on preparing an FC/KC self-study.
Note: Foster Care Case Management Services plan, secure, coordinate, and monitor goals and comprehensive services provided to children in foster care and/or their birth parents. Case management services for children monitor the child's safety, stability, well-being and permanency. Case management services for birth parents monitor the family's progress toward reunification. Organizations providing Foster Care Case Management Services only will complete: FC 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 12, 14, 15, and 19. In addition, organizations will complete FC 8, and/or FC 9 and FC 10, depending on whether the organization is responsible for managing services to the parents or the child, or both.
Note: Foster Home Services recruit, assess, and train foster parents and may provide ongoing support and monitoring of foster homes on a regular basis. Organizations providing Foster Home Services will complete FC 5, 7, 12, 16, 17, and 19.
Note: When the case involves an Indian child, the organization should engage and collaborate with the child’s tribe throughout the provision of foster care services as outlined in the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), which governs state proceedings involving Indian children. This requires the inclusion of tribal representatives throughout all aspects of service delivery, including, but not limited to, assessment, service planning, permanency planning, case closing, and aftercare. Additional opportunities for inclusion are identified in the standards. While collaboration with federally recognized tribes is required by ICWA, organizations should reach out to tribal representatives in cases involving federally non-recognized tribes as well, as their involvement in the case will improve access to culturally-relevant resources and help establish permanency through a heightened sense of belonging and connectivity to the child’s extended family, clan, or tribe.
While local Indian organizations are not granted the same rights as federally recognized tribes under the Indian Child Welfare Act, there may be circumstances under which their involvement is necessary and appropriate. These organizations can facilitate the child’s connection to his or her tribe, inform the family and the organization of services available to the child, act as an advocate for the Indian child and his or her family, and provide ongoing support and information. This involvement is particularly important when the child’s tribe does not have the infrastructure to participate formally in the case or when the tribe is geographically distant from the child’s home and their participation is somewhat limited.
Note: Please see Self-Paced_Training: Foster Care Services (FC) in the Tools Index for additional assistance with this standard.