There has been a significant increase in the need for trauma focused foster homes in the past several years. These trauma focused foster homes have foster parents with a background in either child psychology, behavioural therapy or a diploma from an accredited Child and Youth Worker program. Specialized training is provided before the home is licensed and ongoing through in-service sessions. Children with a traumatic life experiences can be difficult to manage and come with exceptional needs. Trauma focused foster homes receive a premium on their per diem to reflect the added time and training that is needed to serve these children and youth. Annie’s Havens offers a per diem of $90 per day to qualified foster parents and additional support through staffing may be provided depending on the requirements.
What behaviours can I expect in a trauma focused foster home?
- Oppositional Defiance Disorder
- Conduct Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Drug Abuse
- Alcohol Abuse
- Encounters with Law Enforcement
- Absence Without Leave (AWOL)
What kind of support with these children and youth receive?
The first goal will be for the youth to be enrolled in school and speak with any relevant special needs staff at the school board. In parallel to school enrolment, a request will be sent to a community mental health agency to access their services. An preliminary assessment on the support needs of the youth will be completed within seven (7) days of placement to determine if any additional support is needed in the home. Additional support may consist of:
- a Child and Youth Worker
- Funding for Immediate Psychological Services
- Access to Community Support Programs (Drug Counsellors, etc.)
- Educational Tutors
What if the youth becomes violent and I fear for my safety?
Annie’s Havens will do it’s best to screen for youth who have a history of violence. If a youth placed in your home begins to threaten the safety of the people in the home or in the community, a request will be sent to Children’s Aid to find a more suitable placement (preferably a specialized group home). Time must be given for Children’s Aid to find another appropriate placement UNLESS there is a clear and immediate threat – in this case, call police and the youth will not be returning to the home. As hard as it is to call police on a youth who has experienced severe trauma, we must always keep ourselves safe and feel secure in our own homes.