Our family-based services provide a process of specialized foster family care for children and youth whose needs exceed the coping capacity of the traditional foster home. Such children are often sent to group homes or institutions, which do not provide family living experiences. As a vital alternative, a foster family is specially selected and trained to deal with a child’s special needs and to help the child grow within a family.

It is the responsibility of Family Care for Children & Youth to ensure that the child or youth is living in a safe and need-fulfilling environment. Childhood and young adulthood can be difficult periods in anyone’s life, and our foster kids may come with a history of emotional and behavioral problems, difficulties in school, clashes in the community, or problems with the law. The children may have special medical needs, limited mental abilities, experienced relationship problems with their biological/legal families, or even suffered from abuse.

Family-based services focus on the development of the child or youth in the present and in the future. Great faith is placed in the ability of the young person to move beyond past difficulties and develop a more successful way of living. The best way to help our clients to do this is to place them with specialized families.

Our foster families develop close relationships with their foster children, and they model the roles of parent, provider, homemaker, and citizen. They provide help, guidance, and discipline according to the individual need of the child, and they do so immediately, twenty-four hours per day. A family supports, corrects, and tests the efforts of all of its members. If there is failure in the family, the family tries again. This is the genius of our family-based services. The goal of our agency is to organize and support this process. Services take place in the family.

Children and adolescents who, for whatever reason, are not able to live with biological/legal family members still need a stable family. Family-based foster care can help children learn ways to fulfill social roles, manage peer pressures, and meet the expectations of the family, community, and society. All of this is accomplished in a safe environment within the family unit. In addition, FCCY will contact the biological/resource family (if reachable) at least once per month to discuss visitation, progress toward FSP goals, and inform the family of how their child(ren) are doing.

While we do not have the space to list every benefit in detail, some of the benefits of a stable home environment include:

  • Mental wellness: Traumatic events and moving from home to home can be hard on children and young adults. Many develop depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses as a result. Although family-based foster care services cannot erase a difficult past, they can provide a stable and supportive environment in which a child can recover and grow.
  • Education: Many foster children have lower test scores, higher absenteeism, and a higher risk of dropping out than other children their age. Family-based services allow a child to settle into a single school and receive the attention they deserve in the classroom and at home. This, in turn, increases the likelihood that the child will do well in school and pursue higher education or a rewarding career.
  • Long-term change: Children who grow up in family-based foster care are more likely to replicate their positive and stable environment when they have children of their own.
  • Socialization: Because children who are placed into family-based services are often beyond the coping capacity of traditional foster homes, they are often behind when it comes to social skills and cultural norms. Family-based foster care allows a child to open up and connect with people who can give them the attention and support they need.
  • Bonding and trust: Moving from institution to institution can cause children to become untrusting and isolated. It takes time, attention, and dedicated care for these children to develop trusting bonds with peers and adults in their life. Our family-based services are designed to help children overcome trust issues and form lasting bonds with the people in their life.

For more details on family-based foster care services or for information on foster care in Pennsylvania, contact FCCY today.

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