At Benchmark Family Services, and really any foster care agency in Kentucky or across the country, one of the most important people that will work alongside you as a foster parent is a Therapeutic Support Specialist. When you reach out to our therapeutic foster care agency you will get the benefits of speaking with one of our many kind, compassionate, and knowledgeable Therapeutic Support Specialists.
If you decide to pursue becoming a foster parent, Therapeutic Support Specialists will be with you every step of the way.
Overall, a Therapeutic Support Specialist in the foster care setting is responsible for ensuring the welfare of children in the foster care system. This includes:
- Screening foster families
- Training foster families
- Matching children with foster families
- Evaluating ongoing foster placements
- Supporting foster children and families
- Finding long-term solutions for children through unification or adoption
As you can see, a foster care Therapeutic Support Specialist acts as a liaison between foster parents, social service agencies, and families. As a foster parent, our Therapeutic Support Specialists at Benchmark Family Services are a resource to you through every step of the process.
Of course, they serve foster parents while all the while having what’s best for the children in the care of the foster system in mind. In their advocacy for foster children’s welfare, Therapeutic Support Specialists take on several responsibilities.
What Do Foster Care Therapeutic Support Specialists Do?
Explore Options of Permanency
As we have discussed before, the goal of foster care is ultimately to find a permanent and safe home for the children in Foster care. It is always preferable that that happens with their biological family should reunification become possible. Otherwise, Therapeutic Support Specialists are seeking opportunities for permanent foster care or adoption.
Matching Children with Foster Families
It is up to our Therapeutic Support Specialists to match the children who come into the foster care system with a foster family. In many cases, they will seek out kinship care as the first option as this is oftentimes an easier transition for the children. When that is not available they will utilize their database of foster parents to find what they think may be a good match for both the children and foster parents they serve.
We never want foster children to be bounced around between families so finding a good fit is key and could mean:
- Less trauma to the foster child, so fewer behavioral and emotional problems
- Better opportunities for the foster child to build healthy attachments with adult caregivers
- More continuity in the foster child’s schooling, medical care, therapy, and relationships
The Therapeutic Support Specialist’s role in matching children with foster families is vital to better outcomes for all.
Providing Ongoing Support to Foster Families
Children in foster care need ongoing support, as do their foster parents. Foster care Therapeutic Support Specialists play a key role in helping foster parents provide safe and therapeutic homes to the children in their care.
Through regular home visits, Therapeutic Support Specialists assess the psychological and physical needs of children and give support to foster parents. Since most foster children have experienced trauma, they often have special needs that require attention.
Additionally, our foster care Therapeutic Support Specialists may counsel foster parents on parenting strategies and provide information about foster parent support groups and mentor programs.
Foster Care in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Indiana
At Benchmark Family Services, the foster parents we work with and our foster care Therapeutic Support Specialists create a partnership so you never feel like you’re doing it alone. If foster parenting is something you have always thought about doing, contact our team and speak with one of our wonderful Therapeutic Support Specialists to find out if it’s a good fit for you.