What is foster care (TFC) and how is it different from standard foster care?

Foster care (TFC), also known as therapeutic foster care, is out-of-home care by foster parents with specialized training to care for a wide variety of children and adolescents, particularly those with emotional, behavioral, or medical needs. Foster care (TFC) is designed to provide safe and nurturing care to a child or youth in a more structured home environment than typical foster care. TFC providers are licensed at a level 3 or higher level of care, allowing them to help a wider range of children.

What does the licensing process look like?

Interest/ Contact
Share your interest and receive more information by contacting Destiny Riley at (608)668-2218 or driley@fccnetwork.org. Complete Application
Our TFC application can be found here. After your application is received, we will determine eligibility and move to the next step. Submit Additional Paperwork
Following the review of your application, you will receive a packet of forms to fill out. These include a variety of background check consent forms, questionnaires, and agreements. Background and Reference checks
The information supplied above will be used to conduct the following background checks: national fingerprint check, Wisconsin Caregiver background check, criminal history, child protective services history, and motor vehicle records check. Any results from these background checks will be discussed with you by the assigned social worker. The presence of criminal charges will not always result in a denial for licensing and circumstances surrounding any results will be taken into consideration. Participate in a Home Study
The TFC social worker will supply several questionnaires to gain more information about you and your background. This information will be discussed during several visits to your home in order to get to know you better. Commonly discussed topics include childhood, familial relations, personal characteristics, parenting practices, employment experience and history, and social environment. The home study tool will allow the social worker to make an informed recommendation concerning licensure as a foster care provider. If there are any training or other needs in the home, these will be identified at this time as well. Licensing Decision
A foster care license will be issued when all licensing requirements have been met. The license will indicate the number, sex and age range of the child(ren) for whom you may provide care as well as the level of care you are certified to provide. The license will be valid for up to two years and may be renewed upon successful completion of re-licensing requirements. If a license is denied, the applicants have the right to appeal the decision to the State. Training
Training requirements for foster care providers differ slightly depending on the state in which you will be licensed, and those requirements will be relayed to you throughout the licencing process as well as afterwards. There are two phases of training:

  • Pre-placement: These courses are required prior to the placement of any children in the home and consist of a variety of modules highlighting key information for foster parents
  • Ongoing: Each year, foster care providers will be required to complete 18-24 hours of ongoing training, depending on their level of care certification. Foster care providers may select training opportunities that fit their needs best, but they will also be offered opportunities through Family and Children’s Center

Training often consists of, but is not limited to, the following topics:

  • Crisis/ behavior management
  • Sexuality and sexual boundaries
  • Sexual and physical abuse
  • Effects of trauma on child development
  • Building life skills
  • Supporting birth family and cultural connections

Because every child is unique, families are encouraged to participate in learning opportunities that will best help them support children placed in their homes.