Providing Safe, Therapeutic Homes for Children with Emotional Needs
With over 5,000 children in the child welfare system in Mississippi, there is a desperate need for families to provide safe, nurturing homes. Given the trauma children experience by entering custody, some need intensive therapeutic services. These foster families must be uniquely equipped to meet their emotional and behavioral needs.
Rooted in the belief that a home and family-based environment is in the best interest of every child, Canopy offers Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC) to children in custody of the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services (MDCPS). Children who would otherwise be placed in a group home are placed with families who are specially trained to offer the care needed. Canopy recruits and trains families specifically for this program.
TFC’s structured, homelike environment provides children a safe, secure place where they can manage their emotional or behavioral issues.
Therapeutic Foster Care’s goal is to minimize institutional care while providing a pathway for adoption, reunification with their families, or independent living if they are of age.
How to Become a licensed Canopy Therapeutic foster parent
Highly motivated couples and individuals who demonstrate sufficient skills, competencies, commitment, and energy to work with children and adolescents with Severe Emotional Disturbances (SED) are recruited to serve as Therapeutic Resource Homes. The families who volunteer to provide their homes for TFC are passionate about helping children, and they are highly motivated to see their children succeed.
Foster parents must be at least 21 years of age or older and be in good physical health. They are thoroughly screened with fingerprinting, background checks, and sex offender registry checks. Each home is visited by Canopy’s TFC staff to ensure the home is a safe environment.
What Foster Parents Can Expect
Our most successful foster parents are open-minded, dependable, patient, and willing to try different parenting styles for children with different needs. Becoming a Canopy foster parent involves five or six visits to your home over a 10- to 12-week period. During those visits, Canopy will gather paperwork, interview all family members, inspect the home for safety, and fully explain the responsibilities of foster parenting. In-office or at-home training is also required prior to approval. Our screening process helps match foster parents with the child that best fits your family’s lifestyle and ability.
A unique feature of the program is in-home service delivery. We have professional staff to facilitate linkages to school systems and other community resources, and they also provide crisis intervention to foster families and children. Each family receives an individualized, strengths-based, family-focused and culturally sensitive treatment plan.
Do You Offer Financial Compensation?
Yes, Canopy provides compensation to cover room and board costs of foster children. Our current daily per-diem is $45, which covers expenses such as food, clothing, shelter, transportation, and recreation. It is not to be considered income. In addition to the daily per-diem, Canopy will provide $80 per month for additional clothing needs for each child and a monthly allowance for each child. In the case of a sibling placement, two or more brothers or sisters, the daily per-diem is $25 for each additional child. All medical costs are covered by Medicaid or other state providers. Canopy does not have a minimum income requirement. However, your income must be earned and should meet the financial needs of your family.
What Kind of Help Do TFC Parents Receive?
Canopy maintains frequent, consistent contact with foster families. Canopy offers support to foster care parents 24 hours a day. A Canopy therapist will meet with your foster child once a week, and with the family unit twice-monthly. The TFC specialist will visit your home once a month and will also provide monthly foster parent support group and training opportunities.
Do children ever become available for adoption?
Yes. Sometimes, children are unable to return home and may become eligible for adoption. Foster families are always given adoption consideration when a child in their home needs a permanent family.
Who are the children?
Our foster children are ages birth to 20 years old and are in the custody of the MDCPS. Therapeutic foster children are identified with a severe emotional disturbance or who are considered medically fragile. TFC children may need placement for a few days or perhaps longer.
Foster families who can accommodate sibling groups or older children and teens are in high demand. All of the children we serve through TFC have suffered some form of trauma. We train and provide ongoing support to foster parents to help them address the needs of the child.
Are you interested in becoming a Therapeutic Foster Care Resource Parent? Call us at 601-352-7784.