CHOSEN TFC - in detail
Treatment Foster Care (TFC) is one of the State of Maryland’s many approaches to addressing the problems of child abuse and neglect. It is a level of care reserved for children who have been removed from their biological families by one of Maryland’s Departments of Social Services (DSS). It is distinct from what one might call “regular” foster care in that the children assigned to TFC demonstrate significant emotional, psychological, behavioral and/or health challenges. Success in TFC depends on a partnership between (1) the child's biological family, (2) the referring Department of Social Services (each county in Maryland has its own DSS...DHHS in Montgomery County), (3) the professional social workers in the TFC program, (4) the treatment foster parents, and (5) the foster child.
The Program Model
Treatment Foster Care was developed for troubled children and youth as an alternative to residential or group home facilities. The mission of CHOSEN is to equip these kids and their families with the resources, skills and healing necessary to reunify. Whenever possible, CHOSEN works towards permanency, which may take different forms: (1) reunification with parents; (2) if that is not possible, then discharge to a less restrictive environment (e.g. homes of relatives); (3) an independent living situation or (4) adoption.
CHOSEN uses a targeted intervention model which assesses and treats the following areas: trauma, attachment and family structuring. Strengths and needs in each of these overarching areas of well-being are evaluated at intake, during and post placement. Within each of these areas fall many other sub-interests that may require action on the part of the treatment team.
CHOSEN also 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 interventions by the CHOSEN parents, behavior management and problem-solving skills training, always with an emphasis on rewarding appropriate behavior and teaching a child how to cope and respond appropriately in a variety of situations. CHOSEN parents monitor CHOSEN children's treatment goals and document their use of interventions daily. 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. Our ultimate goals are safety, stability and permanency. We are proud of our outcomes in each of these areas and strive always to improve for the kids and families we serve.
CHOSEN Parent Training and Support Services
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 crisis intervention. Prior to certification and placement of a CHOSEN child in their home, parents must demonstrate mastery of these skills. That is why we call our certified CHOSEN parents "professional" parents. We value their commitment and honor their efforts.