Therapeutic Foster Care

Therapeutic fostering is a specialist type of foster care that supports children and young people who may have dealt with trauma, abuse or any other kind of severe disruption prior to being placed into foster care.

As the nation’s demand for foster carers continually increases, so does the demand for carer’s interested in looking after children with complex needs. This type of fostering is known as therapeutic foster care, and refers to being able to provide extra assistance to  children who may be expereincing mental health challenges. 

Many children have experienced trauma prior to being looked after and therefore need additional support from their foster carer. Being a therapeutic foster carer allows you to provide a sense of sanctuary to a young person with complex needs, whilst also being able to facilitate the mental health assistance that they require.

What is therapeutic fostering?

Therapeutic foster care is a type of fostering where carers look after children with complex needs and challenging behaviour. This is often when children have experienced a traumatic start in life, and have been damaged emotionally and developmentally because of this.

Therapeutic fostering allows the opportunity for these young children to flourish and grow through extra assistance, as well as being part of a loving and accepting home – which is a staple trait of any foster carer. By being a therapeutic foster carer, you will have a detailed breakdown of the child’s needs on every level, especially from a mental health perspective, which will allow you to care for this child in a more productive and effective manner.

Therapeutic foster care training and support

Being a therapeutic foster carer requires a level of special therapeutic foster care training and education that Excel Fostering can provide. With this training and support, you will be able to learn exactly what is required from a therapeutic foster carer. This will equip you for future fostering placements which will follow once all training and education is completed.

In the past, the local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) would provide the specialist therapeutic assessments and interventions. This is an NHS driven service that would aim to provide treatment for young people suffering with mental health, who may have needed therapy, psychologists or psychiatrists. However, the system itself has been faltering due to economic reasons – which provokes the need for a solution and proactive response.

Excel Fostering are proud to offer a Multi-disciplinary Assessment Treatment & Therapy Service (MATTs) as an equivalent to the CAMHS. This is a specialist fostering programme which is provided to enhance the support and resources to foster carers allowing the therapeutic fostering agency to provide direct therapeutic input, which is often inaccessible through CAMHS.

MATTs provide an in-house psychological assessment, meaning the team in charge of the child’s development receives detailed guidance on the child’s needs. A clinician will also be allocated to each foster family, providing 1:1 support, ensuring that foster carers never feel ‘alone’. The service includes social workers, child psychotherapists, social pedagogues, play therapists, support workers, dyadic developmental psychotherapists, and educational specialists.

Reasons for recommending therapeutic services for children in care

There are many reasons why foster children may need therapeutic services, but the most common reasons include:

  • Challenging behaviour
  • Inability to regulate emotion
  • Barriers to educational engagement
  • Enuresis/encopresis (bedwetting/soiling)
  • Tics
  • Inability to socialise
  • Low self-esteem and self-worth
  • Fears, phobias and anxieties
  • Generalised or specific learning difficulties
  • Speech and language difficulties
  • Suicidal ideation and or suicidal intent
  • Child sexual exploitation (CSE)
  • Self-harming behaviours
  • Sexually harmful behaviours
  • Drug and alcohol misuse
  • Eating difficulties

How to become a therapeutic foster parent

Becoming a therapeutic foster carer requires someone who has experience or willingness to develop skills in trauma led care, alongside health specialists to provide a better life to a young person or child. If you think therapeutic foster care is the right path for you, our friendly team are on hand to provide further information. Get in touch with Excel Fostering today to find out more.

Thinking of fostering?

If you’ve got any questions or would like to find out more about fostering with Excel Fostering, fill out the form below.
An experienced fostering advisor from your local area will then be in touch.

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Ways to

Start the conversation today. Our team of friendly advisors are on hand to answer any foster care questions you may have. We can offer you honest and practical advice that can help you decide if becoming a foster carer is the right path for you. 

Request a
call back

Contact us by completing our online form and one of our fostering advisors will respond to your enquiry within 24 hours.

Call us

Contact us by phone and one of our friendly fostering experts will be on hand for any foster care advice and support you require.

Download a Brochure

Download our helpful guide to becoming a foster carer with Excel Fostering.