Our Therapeutic Foster Care homes are available for children, youth and adolescents with special behavioral needs in order to provide structure and safety in their lives. We have homes in Ketchikan and on Prince of Wales Island and are licensed by the State of Alaska. The foster parent cares for the youth while teaching life skills, emotional and behavioral counseling, coaching and encouraging healthy life choices. The child or youth in foster care maintains enrollment in the public school system and is expected to attend daily. Foster parents engage in regular consultation with the treatment team to treatment goals and services being provided. Foster parents receive training throughout the calendar year and clinical staff is on-call to support the foster parents twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.
The Right to a Permanent Family
Therapeutic Foster Care can be a short-term or long-term placement until the child and families learn to manage a child’s needs, or until a home is identified for a child with a relative or in some cases adoption. Children in Therapeutic Foster Care are also enrolled in clinical services receiving counseling and community based services to help them to function in school, community and family settings. As the children gain more skills the services provided are gradually reduced to encourage the youth to maintain the new skill without formal supports.
Therapeutic Foster Care Services are grounded in the belief that all children and youth need and have a right to a permanent family. Services are committed to reunification whenever safely possible. Adoption, guardianship and kinship care or other long-term stable family living arrangement is crucial to the future success of each child in care. Community Connections believes that family living is a normalizing influence and the relationships built in the foster home are part of building identity, self-worth and imparting a sense of belonging.
The Importance of Identity
Services are provided with care and respect for the cultural perspective of each youth and their family or origin. Efforts are made to match a child to a treatment home which is best equipped to support and preserve a child’s cultural or ethnic identity. Youth are supported in maintaining contact, if healthy and desired, with biological family members. Community Connections understands the importance of identity, customs, ritual, and health belonging in the development of well-being and maximum productivity.
Children are often referred to Therapeutic Foster Care Services through the Office of Children’s Services or the Department of Juvenile Justice. In Alaska, parents may also voluntarily place a child in a Therapeutic Foster Care home. This often supports a child and family in accessing a residential level of care without leaving their home community.