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Therapeutic Foster Care


As the demand for foster carers increases, there is also a demand for people who are interested in caring for children and young people with complex needs and challenging behaviour, too. This is a type of fostering, known as therapeutic foster care. The main goal is to help children flourish and grow into a happy life. When their start in life has been traumatic, they may have been damaged and left to suffer emotionally and developmentally. This makes it more difficult for them to flourish and they need extra assistance. By being a therapeutic foster carer, you can provide a sense of sanctuary to a young person with complex needs.

What is therapeutic fostering?

Therapeutic fostering calls for special training and education in looking after children with complex needs and foster carers become part of a therapy team. Therapeutic foster care allows the opportunity for children and young people to be able to grow and flourish through extra assistance, while being cared for in a secure and accepting home. As a therapeutic foster carer, you will know a detailed breakdown of the children’s needs on every level – in particular from a mental health perspective. This will allow you to care for this foster child in the most effective and proactive manner. Capstone Foster Care will train you and offer proper support before any placement is made.

Therapeutic foster care training and support

Capstone is pleased to lead the development of a Multidisciplinary Assessment & Treatment service (MATs). This is a specialist therapeutic fostering programme, providing enhanced support and resources for foster carers and children referred to the programme. The development of this service at Capstone means we can provide more children with a family home that can meet their needs, which will be supported by a clinical therapeutic team. Foster carers have enhanced skills and training in therapeutic parenting, and children receive direct therapeutic input, which is often inaccessible, or with long waiting lists, through their local child care services.

Foster parents provide an environment where children and young people can feel protected and valued and receive the day to day support and treatment they need. If a child has suffered severe neglect, special care may be needed to heal the physical, emotional, and social injury they have endured. Children placed in therapeutic foster care often have difficulty with relationships and trust and they often suffer depression and exhibit withdrawn behaviour. They may even have issues with anger management and aggressive behaviour.

In these cases, a foster home is not just a home, it’s a safe and comfortable sanctuary for troubled children and young people. Foster parents are provided with ongoing therapeutic foster care training and support to guide and assist them through the process of being part of a specialist team. The foster carer plays the double role of providing a secure family setting where the child can live and thrive as well as a therapeutic environment to help the child or young person along the road to recovery and help them toward feeling that they are part of a community.


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A therapeutic foster carer works with the child and learns as much as possible about the child’s circumstances, responses, and emotional state. This is part of the effort to know the best approach to help the child’s psychological, emotional, and social development. Part of the foster carer’s nurturing involves having a deep belief in the child’s ability to develop self-esteem, self-confidence, and relationships and recover from old disturbing circumstances. When the foster parent is available to talk to the child or young person at all times in a loving and understanding manner, some of the damage can be repaired. One of the biggest challenges is to be able to see beyond the child’s inappropriate behaviour to the reasons and motivations that underlie the way they act.

As a therapeutic foster parent, you will have plenty of support in terms of backing from a qualified team working with you to help ensure a successful and positive outcome for the child or young person.

How to become a therapeutic foster parent

If you are interested in becoming a therapeutic foster parent and have experience in or willingness to work with specialist mental health services, contact Capstone Foster Care for more information on therapeutic foster care.

Capstone assesses the foster home and carer and ensures that the essential training for therapeutic foster care is ready before any placement is made. A supervising social worker is available to work with the foster family in all fostering placements. Our foster parents provide an unparalleled service.

If you would like to register your interest, or simply talk to someone further, please call Capstone Foster Care on 0800 012 4004.

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