What is the difference between therapeutic foster care and foster care?
There are thousands of children living in foster homes throughout Connecticut. A small percentage of them require additional supports and services in order to be successful. Therapeutic Foster Care is a higher level of care provided by private, non-profit agencies in CT such as Waterford Country School. Therapeutic Foster Parents become part of the child's treatment team and receive additional training before and after becoming foster parents, intensive case management and an increased daily stipend. Children who are eligible for Therapeutic Foster Care also have access to additional funding to meet their treatment needs.
Can I choose the age of the foster child?
Yes, you can request a specific age group. You might find through experience and training that you are most effective with a certain age range. The children we serve are usually between the ages of 8 and 18.
How long will the foster child remain in my home?
Every child has a unique permanency plan. Some children only need a caring foster home for a few weeks or months and others may be adopted by you and stay a lifetime. You will be told about a child's permanency plan before you meet them. That information will help inform your decision about whether or not a particular child is right for you and your family. It is important that, as a foster parent, you help each child achieve the best possible permanent living arrangement they can.
As a foster parent, can I work outside the home?
You can work outside the home and be a foster parent. You need to be aware of your work schedule and how it will affect the child (i.e. working 3rd shift, who will be home with the child?). If the foster child requires child care, the foster parent may be responsible for the expense.
Can I adopt a foster child living in my home?
Yes, it is possible. While foster care is defines as a temporary living situation, many children who enter Therapeutic Foster Care are adopted by their foster parents. Adoption is a desirable outcome for many of the children who are referred to our poragram. You will know before you meet a prospective foster child whether their permanency plan includes adoption. If you are unwilling or unsure if you want to adopt a child, then foster care is right for you. You are not required to be open to adoption to become a foster parent; a foster parent can be someone who helps transition a child into a permanent home.
I don't think I could care for a child that will eventually leave. Am I cut out to be a foster parent?
We understand that this is a hard task, emotionally and physically. Many foster parents feel this way intially but realize the importance of making a positive impact on a child for however long they can.