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We have come a long way in Treatment Foster Care...

and we have a long way to go...

In the President’s proposed FY 2016 budget related to Child Welfare improvements, the President states: “Provide specialized training and salaries for foster parents who provide a therapeutic environment for a child. A therapeutic foster home is one with specially trained foster families that can provide support and treatment to a child with behavioral and / or mental health challenges.”

“Provide support for specialized case management using smaller case loads and specialized training so case workers can focus on supporting family-based care.”

Wow – the President of the United States recognizes and supports Treatment Foster Care (TFC)! We have worked hard in our state and national associations with the Foster Family-based Treatment Association (FFTA) to support and promote TFC. Although TFC is provided in every state, how it is delivered and how it is reimbursed widely differs. Therefore, FFTA continues to work on federal legislation that would provide a uniform, national definition with proposed standards and practice guidelines.

Other areas of emphasis for FFTA in working in TFC programs is to decrease the reliance of psychotropic medication, support the use of Kinship TFC placements, address the behavioral health needs of youth that have been involved in domestic sex trafficking and improve permanency outcomes.

We are lucky in Alaska that TFC is very well recognized both in Behavioral Health and in the Child Welfare System and AK Child & Family is recognized as a leader in the field. However, with over 2,000 children in out of home placement in Alaska (1,000 of those children being in Anchorage) and a drop in foster care across the board we are in great need of individuals and families to step up and open their homes to work with our children and families in need.

We have definitely come a long way in our work – however with all of the children in out of home placement, many of which need specialized care – we still have a long way to go. If you or someone you know are interested in becoming a TFC parents please call our Recruitment Specialist, Jay Her at 792-4114.