Foster Care FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers for Foster Parents 

What is the average length of stay for a child?

The length of stay varies dependent upon the needs of the youth. Youth for Tomorrow offers a wide range of services and works collaboratively in a team to help the youth with treatment goals. Short term foster care averages 40 days, and treatment foster care averages 18 months. 

What type of behavioral problems will the children have?

The type of behaviors exhibited are dependent upon the history of the youth.  Most youth have been through traumatic experiences and abusive situations.  These youth are less likely to trust, may have displaced anger, and often feel isolated and abandoned. Their behavior can at times present as unpredictable. 

What ages are the children?

Ages range from birth to 21.  

Can we specify what type of child we want?

During the pre-certification process, you will be taught to consider many possibilities. We encourage you to communicate your needs and limitations as part of the professional team.

 What kind of space and sleeping areas are required?

There must be space for sleeping, privacy, and studying.  A foster youth must have their own bed and only same sex children may share a room. If a foster youth is to occupy a bunk bed, only those above age 7 may sleep on a top bunk. Additionally, each youth must have access to a dresser and closet.

 How much time is involved?

Treatment foster parenting requires the same time commitment that parenting any special needs child requires.  Treatment foster care children need to have structured days.  There are regular trips to the doctor, school conferences, meetings with a therapist, visitation with biological family, and home visits with Youth for Tomorrow staff.  Initially, there are 27 hours of pre-service training for foster parents to become certified (15 hours in person, and 12 hours online).  After certification there are ongoing annual trainings offered to foster parents in order to meet a continuing education requirement of 20 hours per year for the primary caregiver and 10 hours for the secondary.

 What types of support do you provide?

Youth for Tomorrow provides foster parents with 24-hour support.  Treatment foster care parents are given specific methods of training to help manage aggressive behavior and information to assist with a particular child.  Depending on the specific needs of the treatment parents, there will be additional monthly training sessions.

 What is the monthly stipend that is provided to foster parents?

The monthly amount provided to foster parents is determined by the age and needs of the child. The payment is used for room and board, personal care and recreation, clothing and spending money for the child.  This payment is tax-free income. 

 Will the foster child have visits with biological family?

Yes, foster children still have contact with their biological family through phone calls, visitation, and/or home visits.  The primary goal of foster care is to provide a nurturing environment for the child until they can be reunited with their biological family.  

 Who can become a treatment foster care parent?

  • Must be at least 21 years of age
  • A resident of Virginia
  • Possess a valid driver’s license
  • Must have a GED or High School Diploma
  • Able to pass child abuse and criminal history clearance
  • Own a registered and insured vehicle
  • Have financial stability
  • Have an adequate bedroom for a child
  • Willing to learn how to work with children who have emotional and/or behavioral challenges
  • If you are married, your spouse must be a willing participant in working with the youth and the program
  • You must be able to identify a backup support person that will be able to pass all background checks and assist with your child as necessary

 Benefits and Training for YFT Treatment Foster Care Parents

  • 27 hours of free pre-service training
  • Monthly in-service training offered (20 hours of training required every year)
  • One-on-one training in your home once a child is placed
  • Respite services
  • 24-hour support services for emergencies
  • Networking opportunities with other treatment foster care parents
  • Monthly stipend