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Therapeutic Foster Care

The Baltimore County Department of Social Services developed this short-term program to provide

  • Intensive therapeutic and supportive services to children in foster care who experience emotional, learning, physical, behavioral and complex medical needs
  • Services to children at risk for placement in a group or institutional setting and to children who are ready to step down from a group or institutional setting to a less restrictive environment
  • Specialized training, clinical support and in-home intervention to treatment foster parents and the child, allowing the child to remain in a family home setting.

Treatment Foster Care

The Treatment Foster Care Program operates from a treatment team philosophy and we expect each Treatment Foster Care provider to function as an integral member of the team. It is our experience that the children in our care are best served by examining all domains of their lives; including school, home and community. We believe that a child's needs are best met by involving the important people in his or her life when making decisions about their well being and in delivering services.

Become a Therapeutic Foster Parent

Providing foster care services to children with special needs is a commitment that can be extremely challenging. Most of the children in this program have been subjected to physical or sexual abuse as well as neglect. Many of them have never experienced unconditional love, praise or nurturing. The time they spend in your home may be their first exposure to a loving, accepting family whose members nurture and care for each other. Despite its challenges, being a foster parent is very rewarding. Making a change in a child's life is priceless.

Do you want to make a change in your life and in the life of a child with special needs? Therapeutic Foster Parents at Baltimore County Department of Social Services receive the following benefits and services:

  • An opportunity to give a child with special needs a nurturing family and stable home rather than live in a group or institutional setting
  • Specialized training and education in mental health issues, managing behavior and parenting techniques
  • Social workers who have smaller caseloads and are able to visit each child at least two times per month to access level of social functioning, progress, treatment issues and safety
  • Quarterly treatment team meetings. Treatment team meetings are planning meetings that include all of the professionals involved in the child's care. These professionals include the therapist, social worker, foster parent, educational representative and psychiatrist.
  • Consistent communication with the therapists providing care for the child and an active role in family therapy
  • A monthly stipend in addition to regular foster care rate to cover room and board


We are looking for individuals who:

  • Are dedicated to giving a child a more stable and nurturing family life
  • Have experience working with children
  • Have the flexibility and time to meet the needs of a child experiencing special needs
  • Are willing and able to learn about mental health issues and alternate parenting techniques
  • Are willing to work cooperatively with team members, including social workers
  • Are willing and able to actively participate in and contribute to a treatment team

Registration Form

If you meet the above qualifications please complete the following registration form (PDF) and send to:

Steven Acerno
TFC Supervisor
Department of Social Services
Drumcastle Government Center
6401 York Road
Baltimore, MD 21212

If you have any questions, please contact Steven Acerno at 410-853-3175.

Revised May 11, 2016         


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