Learn About Becoming a Therapeutic Foster Care Home

What is Therapeutic Foster Care?

Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC), also known as HCTC, differs from traditional foster care as it provides in-home short-term care for children and youth with severe mental health diagnoses or emotional and behavioral needs. The care may last for weeks or months depending on the child’s TFC goals.

HCTC stands for Home Care Training to Home Care Client. It is now called Therapeutic Foster Care in the State of Arizona. According to an azahcccs.gov report, “TFC is provided in a community home/family-like setting to children/youth and adults, primarily through the State Medicaid program.”

These boys and girls need structure and guidance within a loving, nurturing environment so that once the child has met their TFC goals they can return to their family or another permanent home situation.

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Hear From One of Our TFC Families


TFC—Specialized Care that Creates Brighter Futures

At Christian Family Care, we want experienced foster families to lovingly nurture children who have been diagnosed with behavioral health issues by helping them reach goals, mature, and return to their homes and community.

There is a great need for Christian families who love children to provide TFC and is a commitment. Christian Family Care provides extensive training and support, after which prospective parents will be professionally licensed to care for either one or two children with a behavioral health diagnosis.

Is God Calling You to Become a Therapeutic Foster Parent?

Therapeutic foster care is richly rewarding, but also challenging. In this role, you’ll need to provide professional-level care 24 hours a day. You’ll work with the child’s therapist to develop and pursue goals, attend all regular meetings and appointments, and submit daily reports noting interventions used and the youth’s response. 

Finally, in all cases, you’ll work as part of a team of providers including a doctor, therapist, social worker, and the child’s parents or guardians to help the child transition back to a permanent home. 

The Goodwin family has been a foster family for over 30 years taking in many children in regular foster care and in therapeutic foster care. “Taking on children with high needs used to be so scary but we have so many resources now. You don’t stand alone with these high needs kids and they bring so much to your life” . . . Watch their powerful story here.


Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC) Requirements: 

A Therapeutic Foster Home is a foster home that is licensed with a maximum capacity of three children, and each foster parent has received specialized training to provide care and services within a support system of clinical and consultative services to children with special behavioral health needs, as identified by the Department of Child Safety.

All required paperwork must be completed prior to licensing and applicants must work cooperatively with the licensing agency. The agency must agree to the licensing of the family for the type of license requested. 

In order to provide children with TFC, applicants must meet a list of requirements and have at least one of the following minimum experience or education.

Applicant Requirements:

  • One year’s experience as a licensed foster parent; 
  • Three months’ successful experience in child welfare, foster care, behavioral health, education, or a related profession as approved by Office of Licensing and Regulations. “Successful experience” means that the foster parent has been responsible for the health, safety, and well-being of a child or adult with behavioral health needs for a minimum of 20 hours per week without any negative actions.
  • A bachelor’s or graduate degree in health care, social work, psychology, or a related behavioral health field. 

Additional Requirements:

  • Must be at least 21 years of age
  • Be a legal resident of Arizona 
  • Be able to provide safe transportation for any appointments or emergencies 

Home Requirements:

  • Provide a safe and clean home with adults able to assist the child(ren) with complex behavioral needs.
  • Provide each child with a separate bedroom 
  • At least one qualified adult must be at home full time or part time  
  • Meet the Life Safety Standards in Arizona’s Title 21 Chapter 6, Department of Child Safety — Foster Home Licensing. 
  • Pass a home safety inspection conducted by Christian Family Care and by the State of Arizona Office of Licensing and Regulation

Training Requirements:

Foster parent training classes.
  • CPR and First Aid Certification 
  • Trauma-Informed Care 
  • Foster Parent College (30 hours) 
  • The Arizona TFC Curriculum (18 hours) 
  • Psychopharmacology/medication training 
  • De-escalation training, record keeping/ documentation training, and quarterly ongoing/advanced trainings that may include the requirements above.  
  • A minimum of 24 hours of advanced training is required yearly. 

Support and Benefits for TFC Providers

Therapeutic Foster Care parents support group meeting.

Currently, Christian Family Care has TFC contracts in Maricopa County. If you pursue this ministry, you’ll receive considerable assistance:

  • Professional-level foster parent reimbursement 
  • Ongoing support from a CFC specialist and clinical supervisor 
  • Foster parent training opportunities 
  • Monthly support meetings with other providers 
  • Crisis support for each child (as needed) 

Therapeutic Foster Care Summary

The youth and the families receiving TFC are going through a tough emotional season. There is uncertainty about where the child will end up, causing extra stress on all parties involved. This is why we are looking for the right people who have a heart for children and youth and desire to help these youth and their parents on the path to wellness.

To begin the TFC application process, please complete the form below.

TFC Application

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