Intensive Treatment Foster Care (ITFC)
In some instances, a foster child may need to be placed in an intensive treatment foster care (ITFC) program. For these youth, AFS provides a specialized foster home and treatment planning process specifically designed for the child’s unique needs.
ITFC is designed to maintain children and youth in family settings in the community who otherwise may have been placed in institutional settings such as a high-level group home. ITFC offers intensified services for foster youth who need extra structure, support, guidance, and assistance not found in a typical foster home setting. A wide variety of additional supports are given to and available for families that agree to care for ITFC foster youth.
How ITFC is Provided
All youth in ITFC foster care have at least one support counselor plus a team of case managers to provide critical assistance for both the child and their foster parents. Foster parents are carefully vetted and selected. Also, they are specifically trained and supported by a team of specialists and experts at AFS. These foster parents are carefully matched to each child and are specifically chosen for the role. The foster family selection process is highly deliberate, in order to ensure that the home where the child will be is best serving their needs.
Services and supports in this program are highly individualized and customized to ensure the unique and specific needs of foster youth and their foster families are always being met. These include special training, additional respite, intensive care and support from both case managers and social workers, and a wide variety of available mental health assistance and support.
Youth may find themselves in need of ITFC and related support services for behavioral problems because they are emotionally disturbed or another reason. Children in ITFC receive an individualized treatment program, with treatment planning coordinated by trained, expert staff at AFS.
Additional support services available specifically to foster youth in these situations includes family reunification, mentoring, targeted life skills training, school liaison support and other placement support services. Foster families and youth also receive monthly treatment meetings and access to 24/7 crisis response and management.
Sign Up To Become an ITFC Foster Parent
Interested in turning your house into a specialized foster home for youth in need of ITFC? Be sure to reach out today. By becoming an ITFC foster parent, you can give a foster youth a new outlook on life and the support they require to reach their full potential.
ITFC Helps a Child Reach His or Her Full Potential
Foster children who have special emotional, social and developmental needs are at greater risk of violent behavior, incarceration, hospitalization, or placement in different forms of group and residential treatment. When given the opportunity to participate in Intensive Treatment Foster Care, the individual attention can positively impact that child’s choices and increase his or her chances of reaching their full potential in life.
This video supplied by our respected colleagues at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore will be helpful to anyone wanting to understand what fostering challenging children and youth is all about. This video is used with permission of Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, MD. The individuals who appear were participants in Kennedy Krieger’s Therapeutic Foster Care program at the time of filming. The video is six minutes, forty-nine seconds long.