Foster Care and Therapeutic Foster Care
Intermountain Centers for Human Development offers three levels of foster care to children in Pima County: Foster Care (Regular, Kinship and Foster to Adopt), Specialized Foster Care and HCTC (formerly known as Therapeutic Foster Care.) Children referred have behavioral and emotional health issues ranging from minimum to moderate to challenging and have progressed successfully from congregate care in group homes to preparedness for living with a single family. Intermountain has ongoing recruitment and training for foster care providers.
A large number of children age 0 to 17 years are removed from their families each year in Pima County and placed in foster care homes on a short term basis, until the issues that precipated the breakdown in their family’s foundation and their subsequent removal can be resolved and the family reunified. Many of the boys and girls come into the custody of the Department of Child Safety due to acute safety issues in their homes, and the lack of access to healthy lifestyles and wellbeing. The Department of Child Safety contracts with Intermountain to find, train and support foster families who can encourage and nurture children who have experienced many challenges in their young lives. Their behaviors vary, oftentimes depending upon their family histories. The children requiring foster care often suffer with night terrors, bedwetting, temper tantrums, and intense fear of punishment. Removed from their families under emergency circumstances, they may arrive at the foster homes with limited personal belongings. Intermountain provides a stable, supportive family and warm home environment for these children through its Foster Care Program headquartered in Tucson, while we simultaneously work with the biological family to reunite the children when it is safe and appropriate to do so.
Therapeutic Foster Care
Children placed in therapeutic foster care homes can have heightened emotional and behavioral needs that require intensive parenting skills. In most cases, these children have been removed from their families and have lived in various group homes and/or more restrictive settings. Stability and safety are important needs for therapeutic foster children. They look to the therapeutic foster parents for structured but nurturing support, and to learn how to be part of a healthy family unit. Therapeutic foster children must learn how to function in the community, develop self-esteem and self worth, and build positive life skills in the self-care, social, academic, leisure and recreational realms without the support of their biological families. As many children requiring therapeutic foster care come from a background of abuse and neglect, each child and their foster family are assigned a coordinator to aid in problem solving and behavior management strategies. The goal of the Therapeutic Foster Program is to be able to transition each child into a permanent family setting – to a DES foster family, adoptive family or biological family for reunification – that will provide permanence.
Child’s Support Services Provided by Foster Family
The children of Arizona, especially those in Pima County, need families willing to provide a safe, structured, and nurturing environment by serving as foster parents. Each child is required to have:
- A Safe Home Environment
- Nurturing, Supervision and Guidance
- Behavior Management and Structure
- A Designated Bedroom Accommodation for Safe Sleeping
- Meals Consisting of an Adequate Diet
- Hygiene Supplies for Daily Needs
- Health and Medical Care
- A Satisfactory Means of Transportation That Meets the Child’s Needs
- Religious and Cultural Freedom
- Community and Recreational Opportunities
- Familial contact with biological families, when appropriate
Foster Family Support Services
Intermountain’s diverse population of foster families provides the ability to serve the children and youth of ethnic diversity in the foster care system. Intermountain coordinators are assigned to assure that all of our Foster and Therapeutic Foster Care providers receive the support services they require to be successful. All foster families receive the following benefits:
- Initial and On-Going Training in the Behavioral Model
- Licensing Application Administration
- 24 Hour a Day/7 Day a Week Coordinator Support
- Respite Care, As Needed
- Availability of Monthly Refresher Training
- A Continuum of Services for Each Child
- Support with All Services Rendered
- Networking with Other Provider Families
If you would like more information on the services provided by Intermountain and the requirements for becoming licensed as a foster parent, contact Jack Smith at (520)721-1887, Ext.5283.
For more information on Foster Care and Therapeutic Foster Care please click Foster Care Brochure.
Specialized Foster Care for Native American Youth
Intermountain is now recruiting and training Native American families to provide specialized foster care for Native American children. As many children requiring specialized foster care come from a background of abuse and neglect, each child and their foster family are assigned a coordinator to aid in problem solving and behavior management strategies.
Click below to view details and requirements for Native Foster Care for Native Children.