Intensive Treatment Foster Care Programs

These programs are designed to meet the higher needs and challenges of some of the children/youth in foster care.

Intensive Services Foster Care (ISFC)

The ISFC program serves children and youth who require in-depth treatment and behavioral supports. It also serves children/youth with special health care needs. The program ensures that children/youth live in a home-based family setting, while getting the services they need. ISFC resource (foster) parents provide close supervision, structure, consistency, and support to children/youth. They also team with service providers, social workers, family members, and other treatment experts. They work together to help the child/youth grow and thrive.

An ISFC resource (foster) family is an active member of the child/youth’s team. They have the ability to meet the child/youth’s individual’s intensive care needs. A resource (foster) family that wishes to provide a higher level of care for a child/ youth will complete these basic requirements (additional requirements may vary based on agency):

  • Must be at least 25 years old.
  • Approved through the Resource Family Approval (RFA) program.
  • Complete additional training prior to placement. Training covers topics such as trauma, behavior de-escalation skills, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). (Hours may vary depending on which agency approves you).
  • Be trained, coached, and engage in the forming of the child/youth’s plan to ensure their well-being.

The ISFC program provides core services and supports. These include setting up behavioral health services and, providing trauma-informed care. It also provides transitional support during placement into a permanent home. People in the ISFC program who meet the eligibility standards of other publicly funded programs like mental health, education, and health services will have these services arranged for them by the Foster Family Agency (FFA) or the county.

Eligible children/youth:

  • Children/youth who are showing emotional/behavioral challenges that are affecting them at home, in the community, and/or at school.
  • Have finished with success and/or leaving a short term residential treatment program (STRTP).
  • Are at severe risk of entering or leaving a psychiatric hospital.
  • Are currently living with a RFA family, relative, or NREFM caregivers, and at risk of losing their placement due to their emotional/behavioral struggles.

ISFC Program provides the following:

  • Places one child/youth at a time with a resource (foster) family. (Siblings that need to be placed together may be considered, but no more than 2.)
  • Matches the resource (foster) family and child/youth with wisdom and care in order to meet the needs of the child/youth.
  • Uses a team approach to treatment, with the resource (foster) parents as part of the treatment team.
  • Uses a Support Counselor to offer tailored counseling & emotional support, mentoring and modeling skills for both child/youth and resource (foster) parent.
  • Case managers have low caseloads for frequent on-site meetings for tailored problem-solving & treatment planning.
  • Uses Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as its treatment model.
  • Offers a more normalizing living setting and better chances for permanence.

If you are interested in becoming an ISFC resource home, please contact these Family Foster Agencies (FFA's) to receive more detailed information about their programs:

Professional Parent Homes

Like the ISFC program, Professional Parent resource families (PP homes) must be very steadfast and driven to help a child/youth heal and recover from the trauma they have gone through. It is a process of time, patience and resolve. PP families provide in-depth short-term treatment to children/youth in a home-based family setting. Ideally they are present in the home 24/7 to meet the child/youth’s needs. PP placements are typically 90 days to 6 months. PP families support children/youth in settling their behaviors. They are helped by the child/youth’s full team that include service providers, behavioral health experts, educational advocates, social workers, family members, and any other important people in the child’s life. PP families complete the RFA process and attend extra training to be prepared to care for the child/youth with a variety of behaviors, needs and challenges.

For more information about the program and requirements, please contact these agencies:

Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC)

The Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC) services are for children/youth under the age of 21 who are Medi-Cal eligible and meet medical necessity standards. This is a behavioral health service given by the resource (foster) family along with other service programs (PP/ISFC). TFC parents are trained and provide treatment to the child/youth with the child/youth’s treatment team. Resource (foster) parents who provide TFC services to a child/youth in their home receive a TFC daily rate on top of the foster care rate. Resource (foster) parents also record daily Medi-Cal notes to chart the treatment given to the child/youth.

For more information about the program and requirements, please contact these agencies:

©2023 County of Santa Clara. All rights reserved.