The Foster Care Program at Bethesda Children’s Home offers temporary or long-term support for children and youth who have been removed from their homes. Bethesda Foster Care parents provide for a child’s physical, emotional, spiritual, social, and educational needs and offer encouragement, structure, and a sense of belonging.
Traditional Foster Care
Traditional Foster Care homes provide children with a safe, comfortable home environment for respite, short-term (less than 30 days) or long term (more than 30 days) placement. Children at this level of care generally do not have major behavioral, emotional or medical issues. Case management may be provided if requested by the placing agency.
Therapeutic Foster Care
Therapeutic Foster Care provides services for children with more serious, specialized needs. Their needs might entail health, behavioral, or emotional problems, intellectual or physical disabilities. Case management is usually provided by BFC and a variety of support services are utilized to assist in developing a therapeutic environment. This level of care usually requires close supervision and more assistance than the other levels.
Foster Parents providing care at this level must complete the traditional pre-service training and an additional four-hour specialized training program. The primary caregiver must complete 10 on-going training hours yearly beyond the 10 hour required. The secondary caregiver must complete and additional five hours yearly.
Kinship Care is provided by a relative or adult, who has an established relationship with the child. Families who provide this level of care are required to participate in six hours of pre-service training hours yearly to maintain certification. Bethesda Foster Care provides the same opportunities and supports to these families as to the other foster families.
Mother & Infant Care/Medically Needy Children/Preparation for Independent Living
Children with special or unique needs are placed with Foster Families who are specially trained to meet these needs. These homes are required to meet the above training requirements and receive the same opportunities and support as traditional Foster Care Families.
All Bethesda Foster Parents must attend thirty hours of pre-service training (including CPR and First Aid) before children are placed in their homes. Traditional Foster Care requires 32 hours; Kinship, 6 hours; and Therapeutic, 44 hours. Additionally, all Foster Parents must meet yearly training requirements ranging from 10 to 20 hours.
Foster Homes and families are evaluated yearly to assure their compliance with agency and governmental standards. Staff, who meet with families monthly (more often if necessary), identify areas of concern – for the child or the family – and develop ways to assist with addressing the concerns. Foster families have access to twenty-for hour support services.
Optional Services BCH Foster Care also offers Adjustment Therapy/Counseling at any level of care as requested by the childÕs caseworker. Services are available during the adjustment period, at the start of placement, or near the time of reunification. Birth ParentTraining is also available for both families and caseworkers to utilize.
For more information on the Bethesda Foster Care Program
Please contact Beth Mallory at (814) 724-7510 ext. 306 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org