Everyday people just like you and me are agreeing to foster some of the most fragile and misunderstood children in the foster care system, committing to caring for them and giving them the love and treatment they so desperately need. Treatment foster parents care for children of all ages with special needs such as medical issues, or severe trauma exposure that results in different behavioral and mental health problems. While each state may have different regulations, most require specialized training in order to become a part of the treatment foster care system, in order to provide adequate support to these kids in need.
Many of the children in the treatment foster system have been placed in a prior home but did not receive the help they needed to thrive and heal. Not all foster parents are a good fit for a child with deep trauma issues – that’s why the treatment care program was started, in order to provide specialized support for these kids in a family environment. Treatment foster parents deal with children suffering from sexual abuse, anxiety, depression, health problems, aggressive behavior and much more. Understanding how to handle complex emotions and tough situations is vital.
Treatment care foster parents are knowledgable about the effects of trauma and mental health problems in youth, as well as how to address them. It has been said that around 70-80% of kids in the system have experienced neglect or mistreatment in some form. Signs of this neglect can start to show as soon as five years old, which is why correctly addressing the problems early is so important.
When it comes to training, treatment foster parents go through a program that usually lasts a few months, and focuses on understanding trauma and mental health-related disorders, as well as cultural sensitivity and learning how to teach social skills to foster children. These programs have such an emphasis on support and community, so you know you will never be alone in your endeavor. Of course, having an at-home support system is extremely important when considering foster care of any kind.
Here at A Place to Stay, we want to say a special thank you to fellow treatment foster parents. Your role is so important in the foster care community and does not go unnoticed. Thank you for everything you do, and stepping up to meet the need in your own special way.