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Eckerd Youth Alternative
Teen Foster Home Initiative
Teen Foster Homes are challenging on several different levels. Teens come into Foster
Care with a strong desire for Independence, but they quite often lack the necessary
Interpersonal Skills and/or level of maturity that many of their peers possess.
Teens coming into Foster Care bring with them, there own unique set of challenges.
Many times this involves the authorities in their lives. However, most teens entering
into Foster Care are really no different than any average Teenager. They are trying to
figure out who they are and who they want to become. They question much of what
they are told and they continue searching for answers.
Some become angry and display that anger in a variety of ways while others simply
“Shut Down”. Some Teens have actually been “Caregivers” to their siblings or even to a
parent and therefore they do not always feel as though they themselves need to be
“Cared For”.
Regardless of the various needs that are unique to our Teen Population, in many ways
our teens in care are no different than the average teenager in that they need to know
that they will be loved and nurtured and that their Foster Parent will be patient,
understanding and compassionate towards them.
Because Teens in Foster Care have very unique needs it means
that the Foster Parents caring for them need to have there
own special skill sets. Foster Parents to our Teenagers need to
know that they are being properly supported during the
process of caring for the Teens in their care. With this in mind
the Enhanced Foster Home will look different than the
Traditional Foster Home as follows:
1. There will only be one (1) Case Manager per Enhanced Foster
Home (EFH). The One Case Manager rule will remain in place even
if a home has multiple Case Management Organizations (CMO’s) in
the home.
2. Each EFH will be assigned a single Therapist along with a
Behavioral Analyst to work with each teen living in that home.
3. Every EFH will have a Training Specialist assigned to the home.
4. There will be Specialized Respite Care available to each EFH.
Specialized Respite Care will be in place to provide specific Support
Systems for the Foster Parents.
5. Enhanced Foster Homes will receive additional funding . This
additional funding will come in the form of an increased Board Rate
for Foster Parents working with our Teen Population.
Staffing and Review Periods:
The Licensing Coordinator and Licensing Supervisor will assess the
EFH on a Monthly basis.
Responsibilities, Expectations and Requirements of the EFH:
1. The EFH parents must attend all school conferences, meetings
and IEP staffing.
2. The EFH parents must engage and participate in all In-Home
Treatment Services.
3. The EFH parents must obtain a minimum of 24 in service annual
training hours.
4. The EFH parents will work together in a supportive relationship
to make decisions, carry out action plans and ensure that all
services are being accepted and goals are being met.
5. Foster Parents must participate in the Pinellas-Pasco Foster and
Adoptive Parent Association.
6. Foster Parents must be acting members of the Foster Parent Task
7. Foster Parents must be willing to work with Biological Families.
Responsibilities, Expectations and Requirements of the
1. The CMA/CMO will be available and will offer supportive
services in the home on a regular basis, as needed.
2. The CMA/CMO will provide 24 hour on call services.
3. The CMA/CMO will support the EFH with services for the
Teen(s) by formulating a Treatment Plan based upon the
needs of the Teen(s). The CMA/CMO will make sure that the
treatment plan for the teen(s) is based upon the needs of
said Teen(s).
4. Clinical and Behavioral support services will be coordinated
with the CMA/CMO and the EFH to ensure that the Teenagers
physical, emotional, social and psychological needs are being
met. This may include but is not limited to Therapy and
Counseling. Sessions, visitation with family, mentors, medical
and mental health appointments, independent living services,
court hearings, staffing, educational needs and extra
curricular activities.
Responsibilities, Expectations and Requirements
of the CBC:
1. Enhanced Board Rates will be provided
commensurate with the services provided by the
Foster Family.
2. A Behavioral Analyst will be assigned to each
home for assistance as needed.
3. The EFH will have emergency services available to
assist them in the form of 24 hour on call staff.
4. Licensing will assist the EFH in identifying
adequate trainings to meet their needs.