Become a Foster Parent

The first step in helping to make a difference is learning more.

Start a conversation with us by submitting an inquiry form. One of our compassionate and knowledgeable staff will reach out to you ASAP. Learning more about foster care and how to become a foster parent is the first step to helping.

There is a great need for more foster families in all areas of South Carolina. By submitting an inquiry form, there is no obligation – just an opportunity to learn more and help children in foster care.

Foster Parents are Special People

It’s true, and more special foster parents are needed throughout South Carolina. 

Children enter foster care when they’ve been in situations in which they’ve been abused, neglected, have experienced a significant loss, or have otherwise not had their needs met. The experience of being taken out of their home can bring about feelings of confusion, anxiety, fear, grief, anger, and loss of control. Providing care for children and youth that have all of these experiences and feelings can be difficult, but for those who make the commitment, it can be a rewarding and life changing experience!

Foster parents are very special people. They bring children in need into their homes and into their hearts for days, months, or years and sometimes permanently. Foster parents provide a combination of hard work and heart work. Through the giving of time, energy, love, guidance, and patience, foster parents make a difference in the lives of the children and families in need.

SCYAP Offers Two Foster Care Programs

It can get a little confusing to try to figure out the difference between these two programs, but they are in fact distinctive services and the requirements and expectations of the foster parents providing Therapeutic Foster Care or Traditional Foster Care are also different.

While both Therapeutic and Traditional Foster Care provide a nurturing, safe, and caring home to children who require placement away from their families, the services provided to the children and youth and role of the foster parent is different. SCYAP foster parents can provide either Therapeutic Foster Care or Traditional Foster Care, or they can provide both Therapeutic Foster Care and Traditional Foster Care (at the same time or independently), depending on the status and needs of the child(ren)/youth placed in their home.

Traditional Foster Care

The SCYAP Traditional Foster Care Program is a collaborative program between SCYAP and the South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS).

Through this program SCYAP provides placement services to children in foster care who need a safe and nurturing placement while they are in out of home placement, but do not require the intensity of therapeutic services.

Just as with Therapeutic Foster Care, SCYAP assigns a caseworker (we call them Treatment Coordinators) to the foster parent/home to provide support, guidance and training and to assist with care coordination.

Therapeutic Foster Care

Therapeutic Foster Care serves children and youth who have complex needs (emotional, behavioral, psychological, developmental, and/or medical) and require a higher level of intervention, supervision, structure and support than those served through traditional foster care. The Therapeutic Foster Care placements keep children and youth out of in-patient hospitals, residential treatment programs and group homes.

Foster parents seeking to provide therapeutic services must complete specialized pre-service and on-going training so that the needs of the children and youth in this specialized service can be met. In Therapeutic Foster Care, SCYAP assigns a caseworker (we call them Treatment Coordinators) to each foster parent/home to provide support, guidance and training and to assist with care coordination. Foster parents serving children in Therapeutic Foster Care become part of the child/youth’s treatment team and provide treatment services/interventions (such as skill building and behavior management). Because the needs of the children and youth in therapeutic foster care are greater and the expectations of the foster parent are higher, the daily per diem paid to the foster parent is higher than that of traditional foster care.

Family Support Services

The purpose of Family Support Services (FS) is to enable the family or caregiver (parent, guardian, custodian or person(s) serving in a caregiver role) to serve as a knowledgeable member of the youth’s treatment team and to develop and/or improve the ability of the family or caregiver to appropriately care for the youth. This service includes providing guidance to the family or caregiver on navigating systems that support youth with behavioral health or other special needs, and fostering empowerment of the family or caregiver through supportive guidance, encouragement and modeling.

Family Support is intended to:

Equip families with coping skills to counteract the stress of dealing with the youth’s behavioral health and/or other special needs; Teach families to deal with a crisis situation; Teach families to coordinate effectively with other community service provider(s); Provide families with the knowledge and that will allow them to be an integral and active part of the youth’s treatment team; Teach families to advocate effectively for the youth; Alleviate the burden of stigma that families with youth who have behavioral health or other special needs often experience; and Reduce family isolation by connecting them with behavioral health advocacy and support networks.

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