Therapeutic Foster Care at For Children's Sake of Virginia
The core and most essential element of therapeutic foster care is the therapeutic relationship that is developed between the child and the foster family. Therapeutic foster care is based on the premise that all children require a trusting and secure attachment to an adult caregiver. Such a relationship increases a child’s potential to grow and develop normally in all vital areas of life.
Many children coming into foster care experience extreme difficulty when trying to develop healthy relationships and “attach” to others on an emotional level. Children act out behaviorally for numerous reasons, the least of which is to get attention, both positive and negative. They are often acting out because they are afraid of getting hurt, abandoned, or rejected. It can take a great deal of time to overcome dysfunctional well ingrained ways of relating to others. It requires constant care, structure, respect, support and a willing and able team effort. FCSVA offers this kind of environment in our foster homes, our agency and in our manner of dealing with others. Therapeutic foster care works because caring foster parents and staff are committed to developing and maintaining a relational environment and way of being that allows everything learned and developed to last a lifetime.
Therapeutic foster care is therapeutic because of the human bond that is developed between a parent and a child. Change occurs because of the therapeutic activities that take place within the family system and community. Foster families provide an in vivo healthy family experience that can result in rapid and remarkable change for abused or neglected children. The family environment is a powerful, effective and singularly “real” environment to heal children. FCSVA foster parents are agents of change and the training they receive is vital to helping children make lasting changes. FCSVA foster parents are a crucial, well trained and effective part of our treatment team.
FCSVA knows that supporting and nurturing therapeutic family relationships that last a lifetime is the primary purpose of our agency. Child and family support services include but are not limited to the following:
- In-home clinical visitation and intervention by a master’s level clinical case manager
- Clinical case management, treatment team and service coordination, insuring the foster family, biological family, service providers, and all other treatment team members involved with the child are all working together
- Consultation and support to other child-serving programs (e.g., the child’s special education teacher)
- Respite services to insure that the family has the rest and renewal for themselves to continue to parent effectively
- Psychotherapy by mental health professionals , within FCSVA staff or through outside community providers to address attachment, behavioral and grief/loss issues among other issues
- Assistance with pre and post adoption services
- Assistance with identification of or full provision of psychological testing/behavioral evaluation services
- On-call availability for 24/7 crisis intervention to insure child and family safety as well as to provide consultation and process evaluation of behavioral and therapeutic issues with regard to signification events or episodes.