Services / Youth and Family Services

Therapeutic Foster Care

Considering Therapeutic Foster Care?

You can make a difference!

What IS Therapeutic Foster Care?

Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC) is a program that provides a temporary home with specially-trained foster parents to children that have been abused, neglected, or experiencing unique family circumstances requiring out-of-home care. Children will be cared for in a TFC home until their natural family can be reunited or a permanent placement can be arranged for the child.

therapeutic foster parent talking to a teen

Children needing foster care range in age from infancy to 18 years of age. Placement in foster homes may be a short-term (few days) or long-term (several months) depending on the situation.


How is Therapeutic Foster Care different from regular Foster Care?

Many of the children placed in Therapeutic Foster Care have physical, medial, and/or developmental challenges that require specialized treatment for their emotional and behavioral needs.

How do you become a Therapeutic Foster Care Parent?

Prior to having children placed in your home, specialized therapeutic foster care parents must have completed the basic training requirements of a licensed foster care parent and must receive additional hours of pre-service, criterion-based training to prepare them to become treatment-oriented foster care parents.

What are the requirements?

Requirements to become a Therapeutic Foster Care Parent are:

  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Be in good physical, emotional, and mental health
  • Two-parent families are preferred, but single parents are accepted if they have at least one alternate caregiver
  • At least one caregiver must be available at all times
  • Meet one of the following minimum requirements
    • Have a college degree, or
    • High school diploma with either:
    - 2 years of college in the human services field and 2 years experience in a specialized field,
    - 4 years experience in a specialized, related field or in parenting a special needs child
  • Be financially stable (be able to meet your own family's needs
  • Live in a home with adequate space to accommodate an additional child
  • Be able to pass state and federal criminal background check
  • Be able to attend initial and on-going training
  • Able to participate in a home study process
  • Participate in all meetings (medical, psychological, etc.)
  • Cooperate with family visits
  • Keep accurate records (monthly report of activities, incidents, etc.)
  • Work directly with GCSS worker, DCFS worker, school and other identified caregivers
  • Participate in the development of child's treatment plan and the implementation of identified goals and objectives.

GCSS Supportive Services

Gulf Coast Social Services will provide the following supportive services to Therapeutic Foster Care parents:

  • All your pre-service and on-going training
  • Weekly calls and monthly face-to-face visits with the child and family providing care
  • Participation in family team conferences, school conferences, and other meetings
  • Coordination of the development of a treatment plan
  • Assessment and facilitation of the need for therapy for the child/children
  • Assistance with the child/children's transportation needs
  • 24-hour crisis on-call backup
foster care parent and two foster children in her care

How Can I Learn More?

There are over 4,000 children in foster care in Louisiana with many of them depending on and needing continued specialized care. Thank you for taking an interest in becoming a Therapeutic Foster Care parent!

foster parents hugging foster child

Looking for answers? We love answering questions!

Give Us a Call

If you're considering becoming a Therapeutic Foster Care parent or would like more information, please call us at the number listed below.


If you would like to receive a personal overview of our Therapeutic Foster Care program, please use the link below to schedule a convenient time for a representative to contact you.