Therapeutic Foster Care

Family Services of Westchester’s Therapeutic Foster Care program recruits, trains, and supports specially certified foster parents to offer loving, stable homes for children who are unable to live with their birth parents or family members at the present time for various reasons.

What is therapeutic foster care?

Therapeutic or treatment foster care (TFC) goes above and beyond typical foster care in two important ways:

  1. The youth served may have medical or behavioral health needs that require more intensive and ongoing intervention and treatment than traditional foster care. For example, a foster youth placed in a therapeutic foster care home may have an individualized treatment plan that calls for weekly individual therapy, weekly supervised family visitation and ongoing medication support.
  2. The goal of therapeutic foster care placements is to return the foster child to his or her home environment as soon as safely and practically possible. Youth placed in therapeutic foster care homes are not typically available for adoption.

Who can become a foster parent?

Foster parents in New York state, must be:

  • 21 years of age or older
  • Legal residents of the United States
  • Have an annual income that can support
    adding a child to your home

What is the role of a therapeutic foster parent?

Successful therapeutic foster parents take on five key roles in the lives of their foster children:

  1. Safety: Foster parents provide structure, support, consistency and comfort.
  2. Basic needs: Foster parents provide food, shelter, clothing, transportation and access to behavioral, medical and dental care.
  3. Emotional support: Foster parents learn how to respond to difficult behaviors so that they can understand the child and help the child feel understood.
  4. Permanency: Foster parents create a sense of continuity and permanency in their foster children’s lives by assisting in the family reunification process, the adoption process or a youth’s transition to independent living.
  5. Team player: Above all, foster parents are team players who coordinate and work with assigned family specialists, mental health providers and any and all additional treatment providers to further the needs of the foster child in their care.

How do I become a foster parent?

  • Attend an orientation session
  • Complete the foster parent application, a child abuse clearance form, be fingerprinted and provide
    current medical reports and supplemental documents
  • Complete a Foster Parent Training Workshop
  • Participate in a home study

What resources and support systems do foster parents receive?

  • Financial stipend for the child
  • 24-hour emergency services
  • Ongoing therapeutic support
  • Training programs for foster parents
  • Events, social gathering and support groups

What resources and support systems do foster children receive?

All planning is specific to the needs of the child and his or her family (birth family, resources,
a legal guardian, etc.). This includes:

  • Intensive therapeutic interventions using trauma-focused practices
  • Mental health treatment
  • Health insurance
  • Independent living skills training
  • Referrals as needed

Contact Information and Next Steps:

To find out more and/or begin the process of becoming a Therapeutic Foster Care Parent, please contact:

Melissa Aversa
Homefinder & Recruitment Specialist
(914) 358-5828

Beth Bernardone, Program Director
(914) 305-6891


Therapeutic Foster Care Events


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