CHOSEN Treatment Foster Care

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

Through our CHOSEN program, which stands for Children of Special and Exceptional Need, we provide family-based care for children in treatment foster care who, due to childhood trauma, require more support than regular foster care provides. Our foster parents receive extensive training about how trauma affects the brain, and they are equipped with the tools they need to help youth thrive in their care. In addition, foster parents are supported through regular contact with our Treatment Social Workers, a 24-hour hotline, respite care, and a tax-free monthly stipend.  

Permanency is always the goal for youth in our program. Whenever possible, we advocate for youth to be reunited with their biological family. When that isn’t an option, we strive for permanency through adoption. Sometimes, neither happen, but while in our care we’re always working to prepare youth for a successful transition into adulthood. We work with foster parents to help youth build healthy relationships, master life skills like budgeting and succeeding in college, and most importantly to confidently set and achieve their goals. Foster parents can change the lives of youth in care, and make the future brighter for many generations to follow!

program overview

Through our CHOSEN program, which stands for Children of Special and Exceptional Need, we provide family-based care for children in treatment foster care who, due to childhood trauma, require more support than regular foster care provides. Our foster parents receive extensive training about how trauma affects the brain, and they are equipped with the tools they need to help youth thrive in their care. In addition, foster parents are supported through regular contact with our Treatment Social Workers, a 24-hour hotline, respite care, and a tax-free monthly stipend.  

Permanency is always the goal for youth in our program. Whenever possible, we advocate for youth to be reunited with their biological family. When that isn’t an option, we strive for permanency through adoption. Sometimes, neither happen, but while in our care we’re always working to prepare youth for a successful transition into adulthood. We work with foster parents to help youth build healthy relationships, master life skills like budgeting and succeeding in college, and most importantly to confidently set and achieve their goals. Foster parents can change the lives of youth in care, and make the future brighter for many generations to follow!

 

have you ever thought about becoming a foster parent?

We are always looking for compassionate adults to become foster parents! To learn more about fostering, please contact Tracy Lane to schedule an information session.

The most exciting thing about caring for teens in foster care is when they have an epiphany that their past doesn’t dictate their future! Getting them through high school and watching them become productive adults is very rewarding.

– Shira Anderson, CHOSEN Foster Parent

One of my favorite memories is the high school graduation of one of the girls I fostered. She wasn’t on track to graduate so I had to really work with her and advocate for her. Watching her get her diploma was a very special moment! She told me how grateful she was for my help. I am still in touch with her today and get to hear about the good things happening in her life.

– Lia Johnson, CHOSEN Foster Parent

I became a foster parent because my mom was in foster care until she was 18. There was a foster mom who stepped up to care for her and her sibblings so they could all stay together, even though she didn’t usually foster teenagers. My mom went on to college and got her master’s degree, in part because of that compassionate foster mom. When she shared that story,  I thought I could do that too!

– Nia Wilkes, CHOSEN Foster Parent

trust-based relational intervention®

The treatment model we use is Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®. It is an attachment-based, trauma-informed intervention designed to meet the complex needs of vulnerable children. TBRI® uses Empowering Principles to address physical needs, Connecting Principles for attachment needs, and Correcting Principles to disarm fear-based behaviors. While the intervention is based on years of attachment, sensory processing, and neuroscience research, the heartbeat of TBRI® is connection.

Frequently asked questions

Q: What is Treatment Foster Care?

A: Treatment Foster Care (TFC) is one of the State of Maryland’s many approaches to addressing the problems of child abuse and neglect. TFC is a level of care reserved for children who have been removed from their biological families by one of Maryland’s Departments of Social Service. It is distinct from what one might call “regular” foster care in that the children assigned to TFC demonstrate significant emotional, psychological, behavioral, and/or health challenges. Success in TFC depends on a partnership among the biological family, the referring agency, the professional social workers in the TFC program, the treatment foster parents, and the foster child.

Q: What if I just want to be a respite (part-time) parent or if I'm not sure I want to follow through with becoming an approved parent…can I still attend the class?
A: Yes, we are always in need of respite parents. We encourage people to attend our training because we know the skills we teach work, whether you decide to become a treatment parent or not. We like to emphasize that your commitment to us as well as our commitment to you is only tentative during the training and the home study process because it needs to be a thoroughly investigated decision on both our parts.
Q: Does the CHOSEN child need to have their own room?
A: No, but you need to have adequate space for the CHOSEN child. One child can stay in a room that is 80 square feet and two children can share a room that is 120 square feet or larger.
Q: How many foster children can I care for?

A: There are many demands placed on your time and energy. For that reason, we prefer to only place one child (in special circumstances two youth) per home. There are exceptions especially for sibling sets.

Q: What are the ages of children served?

A: The children range in age from birth to 21 years old. However, the average age child currently being referred is between 12 and 18.

Q: What kinds of kids do you serve in CHOSEN?
A: CHOSEN kids are referred by a local Department of Social Services (DSS) within the State of Maryland, with most referrals coming from Baltimore and Prince George’s counties in FY13.
Q: Do we get to choose the age, race or gender of the child placed with us?
A: Yes. We will discuss your preferences during the interview and home study. Treatment parents can always say “no” to a placement about which they feel uncomfortable. Please know that we take your family dynamics very seriously and would only place a child in your home that we feel is a good match. There may be times we ask you to consider a child outside of your preferred age/race/gender and ask that you be open in those cases to consider why we might have thought of you as a good match for this child.
Q: What kind of support do foster parents receive?
A: CHOSEN parents receive extensive initial and ongoing training, supervision and support in the form of weekly home visits, 24 hour crisis intervention, and respite care. CHOSEN parents also receive financial compensation.
Q: Do all couples have to be married to become foster parents?
A: Yes, Building Families certifies couples who are legally married for at least 1 year.
Q: Can single people be foster parents?
A: Yes. We do ask all potential single parents to select a Secondary Treatment Parent (STP). This is a person who will help them when support is needed. A neighbor, friend or relative can be your STP. The STP must meet the same criteria that a primary parent meets.
Q: Do I have to be employed?

A: No. CHOSEN parents are required to be economically stable outside of the financial compensation paid to them by our agency. So, you do not have to have a job but you must have a permanent and sufficient source of income (i.e. retirement benefits, disability income, etc.). Unemployment is not a permanent source of income.

Questions?

Right now there are youth in foster care waiting for space in a home like yours to open up. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about the process of becoming certified, lets talk!