Behavioral Health Standard 3.R – Specialized or Treatment Foster Care (STFC)


The program implements a process for identifying, locating, and engaging family members, as appropriate, in services.

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The program provides or arranges for documented, competency-based training to meet the identified needs of the children/youth served:

  1. To:
    1. Personnel
    2. Specialized or treatment foster care providers
  2. At:
    1. Orientation
    2. Regular intervals
  3. That covers:
    1. Attachment theory
    2. Trauma
    3. Child/youth growth and development
    4. Behavior management skills
    5. Learning theory
    6. Cultural competency and diversity
    7. The effects of placement on children/youth
    8. Applicable legal issues
    9. Communication skills
    10. Required medications and/or medical services
    11. Other specialized training as needed
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Documentation of training provided to foster care providers includes the:

  1. Type of training or information provided
  2. Dates of training or information provided
  3. Length of training or information provided
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The program provides access to professionals trained in child/youth and family care, based on the needs of each person served, including:

  1. A psychologist
  2. A counselor
  3. A family therapist
  4. A social worker
  5. A youth worker
  6. A psychiatrist
  7. Medical personnel
  8. Other specialists, as appropriate
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A referral network is established for the following:

  1. Emergency care
  2. Respite care
  3. Medical care
  4. Other services to meet the needs of the children/youth served
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The children/youth served have opportunities to participate, as appropriate, in:

  1. Community activities
  2. Cultural activities
  3. Recreational activities
  4. Spiritual activities
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If the program selects specialized or treatment foster care providers, it implements a comprehensive plan for recruitment, selection, and maintenance that:

  1. Is reflective of the larger community that the program serves
  2. Includes a broad selection of families to ensure that the needs of the children/youth served are met
  3. Meets the expressed criteria set in all applicable jurisdictional guidelines
  4. Includes procedures for the monitoring of each home
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If the program is engaged in child placement activities, is has a comprehensive process for matching children/youth with available foster care providers that:

  1. Considers the child’s/youth’s:
    1. Needs
    2. Strengths
    3. Preferences
  2. Considers the foster care providers’ assessed:
    1. Skills
    2. Competencies
  3. Includes an assessment of the appropriateness of the match, including:
    1. A familiar environment
    2. Identification of any gaps and how the gaps will be addressed
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The program utilizes written agreements that clearly define:

  1. What the foster care providers can expect from the program, including:
    1. Rights of specialized or treatment foster care providers
    2. On-call support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
    3. Initial and ongoing training
    4. Communication about appropriate and known information about the child/youth and the family
    5. Available support for managing issues that arise in the placement
    6. Supervision and monitoring
    7. Payments, as applicable
  2. What is expected of the foster care providers, including:
    1. In collaboration with the program, implementation of specific service objectives of the individualized plan
    2. Providing support to the child/youth in maintaining meaningful contact with family, as appropriate
    3. Providing a high standard of daily care to the child/youth, including:
      1. Nutritious meals and snacks
      2. A safe living environment
      3. A comfortable living environment
      4. Emotional support
      5. Boundaries consistent with the needs of the child/youth served
      6. Physical needs
    4. Encouraging the child/youth to personalize his or her living space with individual possessions
    5. Recognition and attention to any special needs of the child/youth including:
      1. Dietary needs
      2. Religious needs
      3. Other identified needs
    6. Providing a home that is safe and free from hazards
    7. Refraining from the use of corporal punishment and other inappropriate means of discipline
    8. Ensuring that the child’s/youth’s health-related needs are met
    9. Providing a supportive learning environment to build the skill levels of the child/youth
    10. Facilitating the child’s/youth’s engagement in developmentally appropriate peer and leisure activities
    11. Clearly communicating what is expected of the child/youth in terms of household rules
  3. The process or termination if necessary
  4. An appeal process, when applicable
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The program advocates for the placement of children/youth with their siblings, as appropriate.

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When placement of children/youth with their siblings is not possible, the program advocates for and facilitates regular visit with their siblings, if appropriate.

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The program assists birth/adoptive families to receive services that promote reunification, when appropriate.

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If the program is responsible for reunification, it provides or arranges for supervised visits based on identified permanency goals.

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The program has on-call availability of supervisory staff members to respond to urgent situations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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The services for each child/youth served are supervised by a qualified practitioner who:

  1. Provides clinical oversight
  2. Directs the treatment plan
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The program has a plan for access to qualified practitioners 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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