Frequently Asked Questions

How is Treatment Foster Care different from “Regular” or “General” Foster Care?
The children placed in Treatment Foster Homes generally come from very troubled backgrounds. A large percentage of them have been emotionally, physically, or sexually abused. They have a large range of emotional and behavioral issues. Most receive therapeutic and psychiatric services. Another difference is that you will have a Treatment Foster Care Specialist assigned to their home that offers support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Included in this support are weekly home visits with the Treatment Foster Child and Treatment Foster Parent. The Treatment Foster Care Specialist helps coordinate all of the services the child will need while in care.
What types of children are placed in Treatment Foster Care?
Treatment Foster Children have exceptional behavioral and emotional needs. They are generally aged 6 to 18 years, although we accept children starting at birth and can extend up to the age of 19 if the child is still in school and under court supervision. Due to their often neglectful or abusive backgrounds, Treatment Foster Children display a wide range of behaviors. These behaviors may include aggression (physical or verbal), using alcohol or other drugs, opposing authority figures, poor school performance, depression, hyperactivity, and being self-abusive (such as cutting). Other children may have significant medical needs or be cognitively delayed. We also work with pregnant teens and teen mothers. Regardless of the issues the child is dealing with, you will receive support and a specific plan to deal with the behaviors your child is struggling with.
What are my responsibilities as a Treatment Foster Parent?
Aside from the daily care of the child, you will have additional responsibilities expected of you. You will need to keep the child’s medical needs up to date, including physical exams, and dental and optical appointments. You will also be responsible for transporting the child to all appointments, including therapy and psychiatric appointments. You will also be involved in the child’s school programming, and may need to attend meetings at the school throughout the year. You are responsible for the child’s care when you are not available, which may mean setting up daycare or assisting in finding respite providers. (Respite providers are certified individuals who care for the child when you are not available). Above all, Treatment Foster Parents need to provide structure, guidance, and nurturing to the child.
How do you make a match between a Treatment Foster Child and my home?
Upon licensing, you will indicate what type of child you are interested in fostering, such as sex, age, and cultural background. We receive referrals of children from various counties that include packets of information that describe their history and presenting problems. If we determine a child would be a good fit for your home, we contact you to review the information. If you are interested after reading the background, then we set up a “pre-placement” visit, where you meet the child from anywhere to a one hour meeting to an overnight visit. If everyone is in agreement that this child would be a good placement for your home, then we move forward with placement.
How long does it take to get licensed?
The licensing process can take anywhere from two to four months. Much of this is dependent on how quickly you turn in required materials and complete required training. We need to obtain several background checks, references, physical exams, and complete a safety check of your home environment.
How many children can be placed in my home?
The number of children placed in your home depends on many factors. We need to assess the physical environment of your home, including the number of bedrooms and overall square footage of your home. If you receive a child from the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare (BMCW), they will only allow one placement during your first year of licensure. We typically prefer to place two children in a home, but exceptions can be made. Current state of Wisconsin administrative rules will allow for a maximum of four Treatment Foster Children to be placed in a home.
What type of reimbursement/benefits are offered to Treatment Foster Parents?
Treatment Foster Parents receive a monthly stipend for each child placed in their home. The rate of pay ranges, depending on the behaviors of the child. Other benefits include ongoing training, 24/7 support, and 24 paid Respite days per year. Respite days are intended to provide planned, short-term relief to Treatment Foster Parents by giving them the opportunity to place their child in another certified Respite Home or with another Treatment Foster Parent for a specific period of time, such as having a planned respite weekend.