What is Treatment Foster Care?

Treatment Foster Care is a distinct, powerful, and unique model of care that provides children with a combination of the best elements of traditional foster care and residential treatment centers. In Treatment Foster Care, the positive aspects of the nurturing and therapeutic family environment are combined with active and structured treatment. Treatment Foster Programs provide, in a clinically effective and cost-effective way, individualized and intensive treatment for children and adolescents who would otherwise be placed in institutional settings.

Definition approved by the Family Focused Treatment Association’s Board of Directors, March 13, 2001. Definition is derived from the work of Gerald Bereika, Ph.D.

What is the difference between Treatment Foster Care and traditional foster care?

Treatment Foster Care and traditional foster care are two distinct program models intended to serve different populations.

Treatment Foster Care is a clinically effective and cost-effective alternative to residential treatment facilities that combines the treatment technologies typically associated with more restrictive settings with the nurturing and individualized family environment.

Foster care has provided nurturing, safe, and custodial care for children who require placement outside of their family. The primary reason for placement in traditional foster care is the need for care and protection. The role of the foster parent is that of caregiver and nurturer. Treatment, if any, occurs outside of the foster home.

Children are referred to Treatment Foster Care programs to address their serious levels of emotional, behavioral and medical problems. Treatment Foster Care is active and structured, and occurs in the foster family home.

Statement approved by the Family Focused Treatment Association’s Board of Directors, March 13, 2001. Derived from the work of Gerald Bereika, Ph.D.