Programs that identify and enlist people who are willing to provide foster care for dependent children who have been removed from their homes because of abuse, neglect or abandonment and need an alternative family living arrangement, or for children or adults with developmental disabilities, sensory impairments, physical disabilities, emotional problems or multiple disabilities who are unable to live with their birth families or in an independent setting. Programs that recruit families to provide foster care for children and adults with disabilities are generally also responsible for training, certifying and monitoring placements in family homes and for providing support for the family and the individual(s) with disabilities who live with them.
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.
Programs that provide an alternative living environment and mental health treatment services in licensed, non-secure facilities for children and adolescents with significant emotional or behavioural problems who have some capability to engage in community-based activities. Although the types and combinations of treatment vary, treatment services typically include individual, group and family counselling, behaviour modification, vocational training, recreational therapy and skill building. Therapeutic group homes are generally licensed by the province; offer a less restrictive treatment environment than residential treatment, but are more restrictive than therapeutic foster care; and are located in the community where residents attend local schools.
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.