Ascentria’s Intensive Foster Care program is contracted with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF). Children are referred to IFC by DCF when they require a more intensive level of care, services and support that the IFC program offers.
Absolutely! Many of our foster parents have biological children of various ages. The number of children you have may impact the number of IFC children you can foster.
Every child is unique, and has different permanency goals set forth by the Department of Children and Families. Depending on the child’s goal, some children are in care for a short time until they can be reunified with birth relatives, while others are in care on a more long-term basis until an adoptive family is identified or until the youth is ready for independence.
Adding a new family member to your home will be life changing for each individual in your home. When a new child comes into your home, many aspects of your daily routine will change; from the foods you cook to who uses the bathroom first. Children at IFC have higher level needs, which means they may have additional medical or mental health appointments. You need to be willing to make changes in your home, schedule and routines in order to meet the needs of the new child.
Ascentria IFC families receive wraparound services that support the youth and family towards a successful placement. Services include: intensive case management with both monthly and weekly visits from experienced social workers; 24/7 support through an emergency on call system; access to in person and online trainings on trauma, grief and loss and other important topics for supporting foster youth; and referrals to additional services as needed, such as counseling or therapeutic mentoring for the youth.
Every youth at IFC is different, but all youth in foster care have experienced significant trauma. This presents in different ways in each child. Some children may experience depression or anxiety, while others may have diagnoses such as ADHD. Like any child, foster youth are going to have good days and bad days. What they need is a family that will help them to learn healthy coping skills and remain committed to demonstrating stability and support throughout the good and the bad.
Children in the care of Ascentria’s Intensive Foster Care program have permanency goals set forth by the MA Department of Children and Families. Goals could include reunification with birth family, permanency with kin, guardianship, adoption, or if the child is older, to prepare for independence (APPLA). Each child is unique, so the goals vary from child to child. Not all children have the goal of adoption, so it important to try to have an open mind and support that youth toward whichever goal is in his or her best interests.