|Therapeutic Foster Care Practitioner Licensed Provider
Q. What is a Treatment Family Teacher or TFS Practitioner?
A. Therapeutic Foster Care is a treatment oriented foster parent. These parents provide
mental health treatment in their own home as a short or long term transition from a residential
treatment home back into the teen’s natural home, or provides an out-of-home therapeutic
environment less intensive than residential treatment.
Q. Can you tell me about the stipend?
A. The stipend is based on the contracted amount that each TFS Practitioner negotiates with
each placement based on variable qualifications – see contractual agreement. This amount
ranges from $52-59 per day for each youth served in your home. This payment is * typically
exempt and sheltered from all income taxes and is paid to support room & board as well as
the therapy offered by the TFS Provider. (provider is responsible for CPA verification) Sample Contract
Q. How much living space will I need to set aside to serve one of these clients?
A. Just to get a general idea, each client served will be required to have a bedroom with no
less than 100 total square feet (80 each if 2 clients share a bedroom). Each client will need a
minimum of a twin bed with linens, a storage space (closet or chest of drawers), and a
nightstand. No client is ever permitted to share a bed with another person while being cared
for in your home. Clients are not allowed to share a bedroom with natural children at any
time. Specific licensing requirements are available upon request.
Q. Can I serve more than one client at a time?
A. TFS Practitioners may serve a maximum of two clients at a time. This is only if the
consultant feels the couple is ready to allow two youth to be served in the home. Youth Quest
makes a referral to your home specifically approving the client to share the home or room with
another client. If space requirements are met, these clients may share a bedroom.
Q. I would like to take a client for a longer term commitment, but may relocate in the
next few years. Would I still be able to provide successful treatment if I eventually
needed to transfer the client into a different therapeutic foster home?
A. Stability is key for the clients we serve. The reality is that situations change, and often
times the best therapeutic foster parents are only available for a term or season in their lives.
The relationships formed are lasting even when a client will need to transfer to another
therapeutic foster home. Youth Quest aims to ease transitions by providing a support network
for each client served which crosses several families during the term a client is in out-of-home
treatment. When they return to their natural families, we encourage relationships to continue
through open dialogue and support offered to each client who becomes part of your family.
This can be done by writing a letter periodically, making a phone call on special days, leaving
open invitations to come to dinner periodically, and by directly communicating your desire to
continue the therapeutic relationship. Many clients benefit for years after treatment has been
provided through these lasting relationships; sometimes even with significant geographical
Q. What do you mean by “treatment”? How do I provide “treatment” for these
A. A TFS Practitioner is provided 30 hours of training using the Teaching-Family Model of
Treatment. This model as well as other treatment provided is evidence-based and provides a
highly researched and effective method of carrying out specific social deficiencies often found
with the clients you will serve.
This model provides methods for effectively teaching skills while maintaining integration into a
normal family environment. When a client is placed in your home, a qualified professional will
discuss with you a person centered plan which is a map of services Youth Quest expects you
to provide the client. This service plan will detail goals which you will need to carry out, how
you will carry out these goals, and how often goals will need to be addressed.
Q. Do these children go to school?
A. All clients served are enrolled full-time in public schools. Some may be receiving special
services for children with behavioral or emotional disabilities. In some cases, the treatment
team will recommend a client transition from full-time schooling to full-time employment as
clients age and progress and as their needs change.
Q. How will I be supported in this challenging but worthwhile endeavor?
1. Teaching Family Model Pre-Service Workshop (40 hours)
Initially you will be provided with the Teaching Family Model Pre-Service workshop. This
workshop will strengthen your understanding of the expectations Youth Quest has in providing
treatment to clients as well as skills to successfully work with these children.
2. On-Going Teaching Family Model In-Service workshops (1 hour)
These workshops are available typically twice monthly. If you feel you need more training, you
are always welcome to request additional training sessions. The goal of In-Service is to
strengthen your clinical abilities in working with these special children.
3. TFS Peer Support Group (1/2 hour, held as needed)
After each In-Service meeting, TFS Practitioners will be encouraged to strengthen and gain
strength from one another through sharing experiences, trials, and rewarding moments.
Refreshments will be provided.
TFS Practitioners will be provided with regular and on-going performance evaluations to
strengthen clinical abilities and assist with treatment planning. TFS Consultants will be
providing evaluations in your home, by telephone, or e-mail.
5. 24-Hour Crisis Support
TFS Practitioners are each provided with a Social Worker (called your Consultant) to provide
telephone support at all times.
Q. What behaviors can I expect from serving one of these children?
A. Many of these children have histories of moderate to severe behaviors which have
demonstrated the need to be removed from their home environment. At this level of care, and
with effective use of the Teaching Family Model, behaviors will generally model those of a
typical teenager. In addition to normative adolescent behaviors, they will at times
demonstrate more severe behaviors of oppositions to authority, showing depressive signs,
relationship issues (unrealistic expectations for attention or emotionally avoiding behaviors),
etc. Many of these children show symptoms of ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
Disorder. Symptoms are usually under control at this level but will require a continual
supportive and structured plan.
Q. What is the typical day like as a TFS Practitioner?
A. During school you could expect to support the child every day prior to school with
preparing homework from the evening prior, getting ready on time to catch the school bus,
dressing appropriately, and maintaining their living space. Typically they get up, get ready,
and leave for school.
After they return from school (usually around 3 pm) they will be expected to complete a chore,
their homework, and have a clean bedroom prior to using any privileges. You should expect
to spend approximately 30-90 minutes of 1:1 time interacting with the child before dinner.
Each parent should have a system in place for what the child is expected to contribute during
the week with dinner. After dinner, the child would be expected to help with clean up.
Bedtime on a weeknight is expected to be regular and predictable. This is flexible but is
usually around 9 pm.
On weekends, most clients will be spending part or the entire weekend with a maximum of
one overnight with their natural family in preparation to return to live with their families. In
some cases, respite care will be offered to TFS Providers; but should not be expected as
standard. If a child does not go on a home visit, that child will be expected to participate in
your family activities for the weekend and should remain on his/her motivation system.
Q. How old are the children served in the TFS Program? Can you tell me about
the challenges of the families they come from?
A. TFS Program children are both male and female, span all races, and are aged 8-17.
These children have often come from environments where roles and expectations were often
confusing for the child. Many children are victims of emotional, physical, or sexual abuse,
and/or are victims of neglectful homes. A high percentage of these children exhibit roles
which are not appropriate for their age, primarily parenting roles. It would not be uncommon to
have a client think it was unfair for you to expect them to go to bed at nine when you go to bed
later. Firm parents are needed to help these children remain in their appropriate role as a
child by not allowing the child to argue about rules, avoiding power struggles, catching times
when children give adults instructions and redirecting them to report rather than instruct, and
ensuring that Teaching Parents maintain adult conversations and relationships privately. For
example, it would not be uncommon for a child to try and be involved in a couple’s
Q. As a couple, we are interested in becoming TFS Practitioners. My spouse
works full-time though, and I work part-time. Can we still provide this service?
A. Yes. Stipend rates are adjusted based on experience, education, and availability to the
child. North Carolina has an extreme shortage of TFS stipends, so this should not be your
only source of income as referrals may not be consistent enough to maintain a stable income.
Q. I am very interested in interviewing to become a licensed provider of
therapeutic foster care services? How do I get started?
A. Complete the Provider Information and Application?
(919) 942-1625 Therapeutic/Family Foster Care License Application
Q. I have another question? Is there an e-mail address of someone I can contact?