Behavioral Health


Role of a Foster Care Provider

Treatment Foster Care Family RoleFoster parents must be willing to commit time and energy to support and nurture a child with therapeutic needs.

Not only should foster parents enjoy working with children, they must be empathetic to the child’s circumstances, become actively involved in the child’s school and community activities, and support the child’s education and development.

What LSS expects of foster parents

  • Provide 24/7 care and supervision for the child placed with you
  • Be available for placements/referral phone calls
  • Work as a member of the child’s team
  • Provide food, clothing, shelter, personal care items and transportation for the child
  • Ensure the child attends school, appointments, and scheduled visits with family, court hearings as needed
  • Support this child's participation in recreational and age appropriate activities 
  • Be willing to accept and incorporate feedback from the child' therapist and team members

Foster parent commitments

Foster a nurturing home environment
Foster parents are patient, nurturing and compassionate people who use these natural tendencies to foster a nurturing environment to support the well-being and of the child/children in their care. 

Provide at-home support for ongoing treatment
Children placed in Therapeutic Foster Care often attend multiple appointments each week (eg, therapy appointments, meetings with their team members, visits with the child’s family, etc.) Children in Therapeutic Foster Care may also require higher levels of supervision, a behavioral modification plan, or other forms of support in the home. 

Provide culturally-appropriate connections and opportunities
Preserving cultural heritage is crucial to a child’s sense of well-being, especially when placed outside of his/her home. This is an important consideration when LSS matches children with foster parents. LSS staff works closely with foster parents to preserve relationships with the child’s immediate and extended families, for example. In addition, LSS works with the state, tribes and other community organizations to provide resources to foster parents. 

Take advantage of training and support
In addition to the training required to receive your license, foster parents must also complete ongoing training to maintain their license and expertise. LSS will provide you the necessary training and support not only to maintain your license, but to ensure you feel confident in your role.

Participate as an integral part of the treatment team
Children involved in Therapeutic Foster Care typically have clinical and therapeutic needs. The treatment plan to support these efforts is developed by a team made up of LSS staff, the county social worker, the therapist, as well as the foster parent and child. The treatment team meets quarterly to review and adjust the treatment plan to best fit the child’s current needs.

Embrace the rewards and challenges
Although Foster Parents should be prepared to face challenges such as time-management struggles, ensuring all children in the home feel supported in his/her individual needs, and addressing potential behavioral issues, the rewards you receive far outweigh these difficulties. Foster parents will obtain great satisfaction from seeing a child learn new skills, develop a positive self-image and exhibit improved coping skills. Hugs, however, are the most heart-felt reward you will receive.

If you feel prepared to embrace the rewards and challenges, learn more about becoming a foster parent!

For more information, contact a foster care coordinator >