Providing More Than Just a Home: NVFS’ Therapeutic Foster Care Program

A deeper look at NVFS’ Therapeutic Foster Care program and what sets it apart from the rest

No child should have to live with the notion that they aren’t worthy of love, stability and opportunity. But for approximately 5,000 children in Virginia, such affection and comfort can seem unattainable. Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS) strives to ensure that once a child enters our Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC) program, we are able to help alleviate his or her stress to allow him or her to enjoy a healthier childhood.

By removing the burden of unstable housing and stress over where their next meal will come from, children enrolled in NVFS’ TFC program can expend their energies on excelling in school, making new friends and establishing healthy relationships with caring, trustworthy adults.

“We ensure that we place foster children with a well-trained, competent foster parent who understands trauma and its impact, has reasonable expectations of them and is reflective rather than reactive when responding to maladaptive behaviors,” shares NVFS’ Therapeutic Foster Care Program Manager Nita Lescher.

NVFS’ program works to ensure all children find their forever home, whether it be with their biological parent or another loving family, through foster care and adoption services, but that’s not all we do. NVFS’ TFC program ensures children in need of a home is approached in a holistic way, providing a safe place to lay their head while connecting these children to a range of supportive, therapeutic services from mental health to physical and developmental assessments and even simple items such as school supplies.

“We chose NVFS because I saw that they had a lot of support,” says NVFS foster parent Stacy. “They offered a lot of classes and resource materials, and I wasn’t sure if I could get that somewhere else.”

Whatever NVFS’ foster children need, staff and case managers work tirelessly to provide. Program staff, including case mangers, trainers and supervisors works collaboratively to allow case managers to spend more time with each child and respond to emergent situations. The program’s round-the-clock contact with TFC management also provides assistance for in-the-moment conversations and support.

The TFC team uses a hands-on approach and supports both children and their foster families by providing therapeutic interventions during home visits, and accompanying them to hearings, Treatment Team meetings to discuss ways to adapt to caring for a child with various needs, Family Partnership meetings.

“Team members’ familiarity with each other’s clients creates an environment of not only support for each other, but an ability to problem-solve together to yield realistic solutions,” adds Child Placement Service Director Sharon Frost.

“In my experience, all foster parents genuinely want to help children who have had a less-than-stable start in life,” Lescher observes. “They believe they have something to give and want to give children from hard places a second chance in a stable family.”

To be an effective foster parent, foster parents need to be armed with knowledge and resources to effectively navigate their new worlds as foster, and potentially adoptive, parents.

“I really enjoy watching these children grow and become a part of something greater than just me,” Brenda, an NVFS foster parent, adds.

Every child deserves stability, love and security. Every child deserves to be a kid. By fostering through NVFS’ TFC program, you can give children what they deserve.

Click here for more information on NVFS’ Therapeutic Foster Care program.


You May Also Like:

Foster Care Story: The Soto Family

“A Great Agency Can Make All the Difference”: The Brown Family

Know the Risks: How to Prevent Child Abuse