About Treatment Foster Care

Frequently Asked Questions:

Treatment Foster Care is different from regular foster care in a number of different ways:

Distinction between Treatment Foster Care and regular foster care
Regular Foster Care  Treatment Foster Care (TFC)
  • Foster care families are trained and licensed to provide professional parenting interventions by the NM State Child, Youth and Families Department
  • TFC families are trained and licensed to provide professional parenting interventions by the TFC agency they choose to contract with (i.e. Familyworks, Inc.)
  • Foster care families get paid to foster children in CYFD custody – this rate is a lot lower than the TFC rate because TFC clients have significant behavioral health needs
  • TFC families get paid to foster TFC clients at the rate of $70.00 per day (Level 1 clients) and $47.50 per day (Level 2 clients)
  • Foster families may be contacted to accept children into their homes in an emergency situation
  • TFC clients are matched with the appropriate TFC family.  Emergency placements cannot occur in TFC without completion of the full matching process.
  • While in regular foster care, foster children have access to community resources via CYFD; however, these services may or may not include behavioral health services – depending on the needs of the child
  • All TFC clients receive extensive wrap around services (individual and family therapy, case management services coordinated by a designated treatment coordinator assigned to each client, psychiatric, educational, and medical services, etc.)
  • Foster care is monitored by CYFD through strict regulations and laws
  • TFC is monitored by CYFD through strict regulations and laws

What job duties will I have as a Treatment Foster Care (TFC) Parent?

TFC Parents are paid to fulfill the behavioral health needs of the clients placed in their home.  TFC Parents play the central role in teaching TFC clients prosocial skills.  TFC Parents will intervene therapeutically with clients in the home by listening and processing client issues, redirecting negative behavior, and reinforcing positive behavior.  TFC Parents are encouraged to treat TFC clients as a member of their family and will include the clients in all family activities.  TFC Parents will provide food, shelter, clothing, and other necessities to the clients placed in their home.   Duties also include driving clients to all appointments – individual, family, and group therapy, psychiatric appointments, doctor and dentist visits, school appointments, treatment team meetings, etc.  

Will I be reimbursed gas money for driving the client to appointments?

No.  Your monthly reimbursement covers gasoline.

If I get attached to a client, can I possibly adopt this client or stay connected?

Possibly; the process of adopting a child is long and has many elements.  In the past, treatment foster parents have adopted clients that were originally placed in their home as TFC clients.

How can I explain to my extended family what I’m doing in a way to gain their support?

It is important to reinforce with your extended family that you will be trained on how to deal with the complex issues that TFC clients present with.  It is important for your extended family to understand that the clients in TFC have severe emotional and behavioral disorders and may act strangely.  Your extended family must also understand that due to HIPAA and privacy laws, you cannot discuss any personal information about the clients placed in your home with them.  Inform your extended family that you are making a difference in the life of a child and that you will be given resources, training, and access to staff 24 hours a day to ensure your safety and success.

What kinds of kids need this type of service? Who would I be bringing into my home?

Children that typically need treatment foster care usually have severe emotional and behavioral disorders and may be referred from a higher or lower level of care such as residential treatment or outpatient services.  As a TFC licensed parent, you will have a lot of say in who you accept as a placement.  There is an extensive matching process involving meetings and passes with a potential client to ensure that both you and the child decide to proceed with the placement.  During your initial home study, you will inform Familyworks, Inc. of the gender, ages, and types of issues you feel comfortable working with.

How do I prepare my own children for this change?

Preparing your children to accept a client placement into the home is an important process because it will dramatically change your home and the way your family interacts.  Your children need to understand that TFC clients have severe behavioral and emotional disorders, and may act in strange ways.  Your children need to understand that they will never be left alone with a client and that they should not ask the client about his/her issues.  Privacy laws will be very important for you children to understand.  Familyworks, Inc. can provide you and your children with extra assistance to help them understand TFC clients and to make this transition smoother.

Is one age easier than another? In other words, are small children easier to work with than teenagers?

Each family works with different ages differently and each family reports that different ages are easier than others.  You will have a lot of say in the ages of clients you are willing to accept into your home as a placement.  Client issues will also be a huge factor in the matching process to ensure all parties’ safety and success of the match.

What happens when a client becomes destructive toward my own property or threatens me?

When a TFC client becomes destructive or threatens you or your family, you will notify the On-Call staff person immediately.  Many times, the On-Call staff person will instruct you to call the police or 911.  You will receive 24 hour support to ensure safety of all parties.  At times, Familyworks, Inc. may decide that it is in the client’s best interest to find another placement.  It is important to understand that placement disruption is a last resort and all other solutions must be exhausted before the client will be removed from your home.

Am I able to take breaks, meaning have time with just my own family periodically?

TFC parents are awarded 7 days of respite care every 6 months (i.e. respite is like paid vacation where the client stays with another licensed TFC family for a short period of time, usually over a weekend).  TFC Parents are encouraged to take their respite days regularly to prevent burnout and to promote client success. 

Can my mother or sister watch the client when I run short errands?

No.  You and your home are licensed to provide safe and therapeutic care to Familywork, Inc. clients.  As such, clients must be in your Line-Of-Sight at all times, unless they are at school or on a pass with their biological families.  It is important that you do not leave your children with anyone who is not a licensed TFC Parent or a Familyworks, Inc staff person.  Doing this is a violation of your TFC Parent license and compromises the safety of the client. 

How long have your TFCPs been with you?

Many of our TFC Parents have been with Familyworks, Inc. for a long time.  Our longest TFC Parents have been with us for 15 years.

What is good about your program? How is this different from other TFC agencies?

Familyworks, Inc. is a non-profit agency, and as such, is able to reimburse TFC Parents without the burden of income tax.  Familyworks, Inc. is licensed by the State of New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department to provide Treatment Foster Care to clients ages 4-18.  We are dedicated to exceeding the licensure expectations of the State of NM and follow quality initiatives to promote excellent client care.  Familyworks, Inc. is also a thriving organization, preparing to expand to serve more families in New Mexico.  We have great staff people that have extensive experience working in TFC and are dedicated to the success of our clients, their families, and our TFC Parents. 

In what ways will you be supportive of me and my family?

Familyworks, Inc. provides 24 hour/ 7 days a week On-Call support.  We also provide on-going training on issues like avoiding power struggles or how to effectively deal with oppositional behaviors.  A Treatment Coordinator will be assigned to each client in your home and he/she will provide any support you need to effectively intervene with your clients. 

What does the training and preparation entail?

As part of the initial licensure process, Familyworks, Inc. provides 40 hours of intensive training on pertinent subjects to working with TFC clients.  The licensure process involves extensive background and historical checks as well as a Home Study.  Unfortunately, the licensure process is arduous and requires that you submit a lot of paperwork such as pet vaccinations, driver’s license, insurance, and other certificates.  Complete licensure will require that you outfit your home for 24 hour supervision.  This includes installing motion sensors around the door and windows of the client’s bedrooms and locking up all weapons, sharps, chemicals, and contraband.  Our Home Study Specialist will help you with all of these details.

How much contact will I have with clients’ biological families? Will they visit my house?

Biological families are prohibited from visiting the homes of TFC Parents and from having any personal information about TFC Parents such as phone numbers.  TFC Parents will likely interact with biological families on a regular basis.  Your job as a TFC Parent is to support reunification efforts wit the client’s biological families.  As such, it is important to NEVER bad mouth a client’s biological family.  You will receive training on how to effectively navigate interactions with biological families during your initial licensure training.

How long are TFC clients in the program/my home?

TFC clients will usually be in your home for approximately 6 months to one year.  Sometimes clients discharge sooner than 6 months and sometimes they stay in TFC for multiple years, depending on their individualized treatment plans and needs.

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