Agency-supervised private family homes that provide alternative family living arrangements for children with developmental disabilities, sensory impairments, physical disabilities, emotional problems or multiple disabilities who are unable to live with their birth parents. Support for the certified foster parent(s) and the children who live with them is generally available through community-based organizations serving people with disabilities. The arrangement provides an opportunity for the child with a disability to live with a family in a residential neighbourhood and to interact with other children.
Agency-supervised private family homes in which foster parents have been trained to provide individualized, structured services in a safe, nurturing family living environment for children and adolescents with significant emotional or behavioural problems who require a higher level of care than is found in a conventional foster home but do not require placement in a more restrictive setting. Therapeutic foster parents receive special training in mental health issues, behaviour management and parenting techniques; and implement the in-home portion of the treatment plan with close supervision and support. They serve as integral members of the team of professionals providing services for the child, get the child to therapy and other treatment appointments, write daily notes about interventions and attend treatment team meetings. Therapeutic foster care is considered the least restrictive out-of-home placement for children with severe emotional disorders.
Mutual support groups whose members are individuals who have adopted a child or are considering or in the process of adoption, birth parents who relinquished a child for adoption, people who were, themselves adopted, foster care providers, children in foster care, kinship caregivers (paternal or maternal grandparents, aunts, uncles and other family members, members of a child's tribe or clan, godparents, stepparents, neighbours, friends of the family or other adults who can serve as "family"), children cared for by relatives under a formal or informal kinship care arrangement and/or adults who, as children, were raised in foster or kinship care. Groups may also be structured for adoptees, siblings and/or birth parents who have been reunited; older kinship caregivers who have taken on an unexpected parenting role later in life; and people who have other kinship issues, e.g., grandparents and other relatives who have been denied access to a grandchild or other youngster due to a death or divorce in the child's family. Meeting formats may include in-person, telephone or Internet options.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.