CHOSEN (an acronym standing for Children of Special and Exceptional Need) is a treatment foster care program for children and youth who have been the victims of abuse and neglect.

CHOSEN, a foster family-based treatment program, trains, pays for, and supervises professional parents to provide treatment for troubled youngsters in their homes. CHOSEN is administered from Columbia, Maryland, but the actual program is found within families who live in homes in the community.

Parents receive ongoing support, training, and supervision through trained Family Treatment Managers (FTMs) who also provide liaison services to county agencies such as Department of Social Services (DSS) and the court, training and support to biological families, and consultation to school staff. The program is funded by the MD Department of Human Resources.

NEW! Answers to foster parents' frequently asked questions.

Purposes and Objectives

Prior to treatment foster care, troubled children and youth were typically served in residential or group home facilities. The mission of CHOSEN is to help seriously emotionally disturbed children gain family and community living skills and to deal effectively with their problems so that they can successfully live in the community.

Whenever possible, CHOSEN works to re-educate children and their biological families with the ultimate goal of reunification. If that is not possible, then discharge to a less restrictive environment (e.g., foster care, homes of relatives) or to an independent living situation is the goal.

Population and Referral

CHOSEN youngsters range in age from 3 to 21 years, with the average age of 12.

These children have been removed from their families by DSS due to physical abuse, sexual abuse, and/or neglect. Most CHOSEN youths have special education needs. Referrals come from many different Maryland county DSS agencies.

The Treatment Program

CHOSEN uses a behavioral approach to treating a child within the context of a normal family. Individual treatment goals (long-term) and objectives (short-term) are set for each child within 30 days of placement and every three months thereafter. The treatment team consists of the CHOSEN parents, CHOSEN staff, biological family (if appropriate to the permanency plan) DSS worker, attorney, and therapist. The CHOSEN child participates in the team meeting based on age, maturity level, and clinical appropriateness.

Treatment for a youth consists of ongoing counseling by the CHOSEN parents, behavior management, and problem-solving skills training, always with an emphasis on rewarding appropriate behavior and teaching a child the appropriate way to act in a variety of situations. CHOSEN parents monitor CHOSEN children's treatment goals daily. Youths earn and lose points based on progress on these daily goals. Privileges are earned or lost depending on the child's behavior for the previous day. Besides the formal teaching that is a part of family-based CHOSEN treatment, parents provide a structured family setting where goals and expectations are clear and consistent.

CHOSEN Parent Training and Support Services

CHOSEN recruits highly skilled treatment families and provides a 24-hour Pre-Service Training before a family is certified as foster treatment parents. Positive motivation for youths is the focus of this training along with basic child management procedures. See our new parent page for more details.

The Pre-Service Training includes instruction in motivation through social reinforcement, analyzing behavior, active listening and counseling skills, problem-solving training, teaching skills, behavior management techniques, advocacy, stress management, first aid, and passive physical restraint. Prior to certification and placement of a CHOSEN child in their home, parents must demonstrate mastery of these skills.

According to our 2009 Survey, 100% of our foster parents are satisfied with their place in the CHOSEN program. They are supported by their full-time Family Treatment Manager and know that the program has confidence in them and the decisions they make to help their CHOSEN child flourish.

If you feel called to this important vocation, please leave a message for our parent recruitment specialists today!


...for devastating events that have occurred within a few of our CHOSEN families: for the mother of a foster mom had a stroke late last month; for a foster mom whose brother was struck by a car and passed away earlier this month - the 4th family member she has lost in a year - as well as the unexpected removal of her foster youth at the child's request; for a foster dad whose brother passed away suddenly; and another foster dad who lost his half-brother a couple days after being rushed to the ER.

...for an elderly GSN client who will undergo a kidney procedure, we ask a quick recovery and for her fears about the hospital to be dispelled.

...for an 11-year-old foster child whose biological mother has been inconsistent in her contact with him, leading him to exhibit tantrum behaviors, and for his foster mom as she offers support and care to help him deal with it.

...for a teenage CHOSEN girl who continues to leave home without permission for extended periods. This is compromising her safety and may require that she be placed in a higher level of care.

...for another teenage CHOSEN girl who has left home without permission and has not returned.

...for a former GSN and volunteer family who completed their housing program without success and had to leave with few alternatives. Please remember their 2 high school age children who may be sent to shelters.

...for the husband of a former staff member who has stage II pancreatic cancer and will begin chemotherapy on February 25.

...for the quick recovery of a 3-month-old infant boy who had surgery.

...for a foster mom who is considering whether to take in a difficult placement that was referred to us.

Answered Prayers!

Note: Names have been changed, where necessary, to protect the identities of our kids and families.

We are so thankful for the prayer warriors who have partnered with us! We see His answers every day.

Regarding our prayer for new families to step forward, we had 6 families graduate from CHOSEN pre-service training last month, and 2 families expressed interest in becoming Safe host families after hearing our presentation at Calvary Baptist Church in Bel Air.

We are grateful for a woman who responded to our last Prayer Gram and donated 2 boxes of diapers.

Many thanks to the two who responded to the need of a Safe Families host family who was struggling to pay for car repairs. One of the donors was also a Safe Families host family.

Learn More!


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