Foster Care and Therapeutic Foster Care for Children
In addition to crisis placements and respite care, Intermountain Centers offers two levels of foster care to children in Pima County who require a stable and safe out-of-home placement on a short or long term basis: Foster Care and Therapeutic Foster Care.
Native American Foster Care
Intermountain is now recruiting and training Native American families to provide foster care for Native American children. View details and requirements below.
A large number of children age 0 to 18 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 precipitated 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 Child Protective Services due to neglect; some of them may have been exposed to alcohol and drugs in their homes. Child Protective Services 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 – neglect, family violence and drug and/or alcohol abuse. The children requiring foster care oftentimes suffer with night terrors, bedwetting, temper tantrums, parentification (older children forced to care for younger siblings), 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.
Therapeutic Foster Care
Children placed in therapeutic foster care homes have special emotional and behavioral needs that require more intensive parenting skills than Foster Care. 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 severe 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 integrate each child into a stable family situation – a kinship foster family or biological family - that doesn’t require intervention and will provide permanence, following their involvement with a therapeutic foster family in Pima County.
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
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 Telephone Support
- Respite Care, As Needed
- Availability of Bi-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 Centers and the requirements for becoming licensed as a foster parent, contact Jack Smith at (520) 721-1887, extension 5283.