Foster Care

Become a Therapeutic Foster Parent

Each year over 3,000 Montana children enter foster care due to abuse, neglect and other serious difficulties within their families. However, the number of foster families available to provide safe, caring homes for these children has not kept up with the need.

Get Involved

Are you interested in becoming a Foster Parent, offering Respite Care or receiving Training? 

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Foster

Therapeutic foster parents provide a safe, loving home to kids in their care with comprehensive, wrap-around, and trauma-informed support from a team of professionals helping youth to be resilient in the face of mental and behavioral health challenges.

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Respite

Respite care provides a needed break for therapeutic foster parents and caregivers enrolled in our Family Support Services. Providers welcome children into their homes for up to 48 hours at a time, assisting parents with self-care and reducing stress.

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Training

Have you connected with a Family Development Coordinator to get licensed as a Therapeutic Foster Parent? Are you ready to begin with training? If you answered yes to both of these questions, then let’s get started!

Sign up to help today!

Therapeutic Foster Parent Resources

Cover The 7 Cs—Using the Building Blocks of Resilience to Help Kids Soar 400x250 - Foster Care

Building on the 7 Cs of Resilience to Help Kids Soar

Have you ever heard the term resilience? In psychology, it's defined as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant stress. And when it comes to kids, it's critical we understand how to promote it. Below are the 7 Cs...

4 Tips for Parenting Kids with a History of Trauma 400x250 - Foster Care

4 Tips to Parent Foster Children with Trauma History

Parenting a foster child with trauma history can be challenging. Trauma profoundly influences brain development, impacting children's behaviors, ability to regulate emotions, and even their capacity to form healthy relationships. And for many, it's coupled with...

9 Heartbreaking Facts on Foster Care 1 400x250 - Foster Care

9 Heartbreaking Facts on Foster Care

The facts on foster care are heartbreaking. The truth is, an overwhelming number of children will enter the system every year in the United States due to everything from abuse to neglect and even the tragic, unforeseen loss of a parent. And for many, the road to...

FAQ

What is Therapeutic Foster Care?

Therapeutic foster care is a level of treatment for a child. As their foster parent, you will be a part of the YDI team who provides wraparound support to the child and you to ensure their treatment goals are met. You will help track behaviors, meet with a care manager weekly and take the child to therapy each week. After significant treatment, the goal is to help the child be ready to go back home or ready for adoption. The amount of time they are in your home depends on the acuity level of the youth, the diagnosis and the treatment plan. Ultimately, we believe every child deserves a home.

What are the requirements to be a therapeutic foster parent?

Therapeutic foster parents come from a variety of backgrounds, and we personally believe there is a child that is a perfect match for every home. The requirements are that you cannot have had a felony within the last 5 years, be a sexual or violent offender, or live with anyone who has. You need to be at least 21 years of age and have a bedroom for a foster child to sleep in. Additionally, you cannot have your children in the custody of the state.

The bedroom requirement is not applicable for those that would like to become respite parents.

What is the process for getting licensed?

The process of getting licensed usually takes between 2-4 months. We can typically license a therapeutic foster parent quicker if they are in a hurry to be finished. The process involves a SAFE Home Study process where we get to know you so that we can better match a child to your home. When the process is complete you are ready to open your home to a child in need. You can take a placement right away, or wait until the time is right for you, there is no rush. Once you are ready to take in a child in need, you will have total say on the child that is placed with you.

What about training?

We offer training for our therapeutic foster and respite parents through multiple avenues including books, classes, and online training, so that you can choose what works best for you. Therapeutic foster parents can complete training at their own pace, and online training is available to them 24 hours a day. We offer ongoing training support to our therapeutic foster parents in the form of support groups, parenting classes, and online training. Learn more here.

What kind of kids do we see in foster care?

All children in foster care have experienced some level of trauma. We get referrals for children needing placement between the ages of 0-18. Children in our foster care have a wide range of temperament and behaviors which stem from trauma. Some of our children are well adjusted while others struggle more. Therapeutic foster parents have total say on the child placed in their home and get all of the information on the child up front. If therapeutic foster parents have a gender, age range, or behavior preference, we can work to get them a placement within those specifications.

What is the matching process?

Therapeutic foster parents and respite parents get total say on the child that goes into their home, and are privy to all the information we have on a foster child. We will not present children that are not appropriate for your home. For example, if you have other children in your home, we will not present you with a child that has sexualized behaviors or other behaviors that would put your children at risk. The more open you are with age and gender, the quicker you will get a placement. Typically parents wait 0 days to 2 months to get placement, depending on what they are looking for in a placement.

What is the difference between Youth Dynamics and the State?

All foster children have experienced trauma, the act of being removed is traumatic. As a Youth Dynamics therapeutic foster parent you will receive on-going training and support to help you parent children who have behaviors which stem from trauma. The support we provide helps to ensure the child you open your home to is able to stay with you and overcome past trauma. Additionally, Youth Dynamics’ therapeutic foster parents receive a larger monthly stipend to help care for children placed with them. Youth Dynamics limits the number of children placed in your care to no more than two children at a time, and/or sibling groups. This way you can focus more time and energy on each individual child in your care.

Youth Dynamics works to make sure that therapeutic foster parents have all of the information about potential foster care placements upfront. This ensures that children are a good fit and that there are no surprises which can result in placement breakdown.

What are the benefits to being a therapeutic foster parent with Youth Dynamics?

As a therapeutic foster parent with Youth Dynamics you will also have a supportive team of professionals helping you and your foster child make the transition to living together. Therapeutic foster parents are never alone and have 24 hour support available that is just a phone call away. With Youth Dynamics you are part of a community of therapeutic foster and respite parents. You will have access to support groups with other families who are on the same adventure you are! Additionally, Youth Dynamics foster parents are reimbursed a stipend that is higher than the state rate.

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