Frequently Asked Questions
Foster care is a temporary service that is used in conjunction with other services to facilitate family reunification and permanency. Seraaj Family Homes, Inc. specializes in Therapeutic Foster Care, which is designed to serve emotionally challenged children in family style settings.
Why are Therapeutic Foster Parents Needed?
Therapeutic foster care is needed for children who have special needs that can not be met through less restrictive foster care resources. Therapeutic foster parents are needed to serve as members of a multidisciplinary team which is responsible for ensuring that children:
- Are nurtured and safe
- Overcome developmental delays and needs
- Are assisted with separation and loss issues
- Develop an identity which helps them feel good about themselves, promotes positive relationships with their families, and respects ethnic and cultural alliances
- Develop skills and ongoing relationships that lead to a successful transition into adulthood
- Are prepared to be reunited with biological family, to be placed for adoption, or to live responsibly and independently.
What Type of Children Come into Foster Care?
On an average day there are over 550,000 children in foster care in the United States. They come from every background, culture, age and circumstance. They are:
- brothers and sisters who need to stay together
- teen mothers and their babies
- medically fragile children
- often diagnosed with mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders
- in need of love, stability, and support
What Type of Behaviour Might a Child in Foster Care Exhibit?
A wide range of emotions and behaviors difficulties are displayed by children needing therapeutic foster care. Almost every child in foster care has had some type of traumatic experience that affects the way the child reacts to people and situations. The needs of each child must be assessed individually and appropriate intervention techniques developed. Most children exhibit improvements as a result of effective assessments and individualized treatment planning.
How Long does a Child Typically Remain in Foster Care?
A child’s stay in foster care depends on the needs of the child. Our goal is to facilitate a return to birth family where appropriate or to facilitate another permanency option. Some foster care placements lead to adoption. Older youth often remain in care until they are adequately prepared for independent living.
What Happens if a Child’s Placement does not Appear to be Working?
One of the most stressful events in a child’s life is moving to a new home and unfamiliar circumstances. Children being removed from their biological family suffer tremendous trauma and need a stable, consistent, supportive environment. Movement while in care is a major source of harm to children. Movements should be planned with time to prepare the child and only after the team (which includes foster parents, biological parents, social worker and other professionals) has considered all alternatives and implications. The 24 hour availability of support staff who works in conjunction with well trained foster parents minimizes the disruptions of foster care placements.
What Training and Financial Arrangements can Foster Parents Expect?
Forty (40) hours of pre-placement training is required of prospective therapeutic foster parents. The pre-placement training is a nationally recognized training program called Group Preparation and Selection, or GPS. Continuing education is a necessary component of therapeutic foster care and is offered on a regular basis. Families who, after careful screening, are approved as therapeutic foster parents can expect supportive services from Seraaj Family Homes. This included ongoing education, respite provisions, and case management/support services. Financial compensation includes incentive payment for the completion of pre-placement training and monetary difficulty of care payment. A monthly board payment is also provided to aid in the care of the child. Also, Medicaid provides medical coverage for most children in care.