What is the Transitional Family Home / Respite Home (Foster Parenting) Program?
The Transitional Family Homes Program provides a comprehensive system of support, sanctuary, skills training, counseling and clinical services for youth who are unable to live with their own families. The program ensures that youth are able to live in their neighborhood and continue participating in family, school and community activities.
For these youth, foster parents provide 24-hour supervision, which may be decreased as a youth is prepared for discharge.
The program also offers therapeutic assistance to the family in resolving problems that necessitated the youth’s placement. The youth is prepared for graduation from the program and reunification into the family, when appropriate, or other less restrictive setting.
Why become a therapeutic foster parent?
Foster parents can make a very real difference in the lives of children every day! They provide stability, model healthy family interactions and relationships, teach values, share their homes, their lives, and can be a lifeline for a youth who really needs it. Therapeutic foster parents with Child & Family Service receive additional training and support compared to traditional Department of Human Services foster parents.
Many of our youth have been successfully reunited with family, some have enrolled in college, a large percent obtain employment in the community and lead independent lives with the skills they have learned from foster parents while in our program.
When you become a Therapeutic Foster Parent, the child placed with you will likely share your home and your life for a short time, between 3-9 months. But during that time, you will have countless opportunities to nurture the youth’s growth and development in supportive, loving ways and positively shape that child’s life forever. You can be part of a child’s success story.
Of course, raising any child is not always easy, and youth in therapeutic foster homes come with their own life experiences. Child & Family Service provides the following benefits and services to foster parents:
• 24/7 phone support and emergency access
• A monthly stipend with additional incentives
• One weekend off each month while other resource families provide respite care
• A designated Therapist & a Life Skills Specialist for each child
Why is this so important in our community?
• The number of children in foster care in Hawai`i and across the United States has been steadily increasing, with currently almost a half million children in foster homes nationwide.
• Almost 25% of foster youth will be homeless within two years of exiting the foster care system.
Your community needs you!
“When I was younger, my mom was a foster parent. I saw the appreciation some of these kids had for my mother and realized the significant impact that even just a few weeks or a phrase of growth may have on a young mind. I was the oldest of four siblings until my mom adopted 4 more. I now have 5 sisters and 2 brothers.
My wife also had extra family members as a child. We were destined to become foster parents. One of my favorite sayings is loosely translated to “What man may call himself a man, that does not make the world a better place?” This is my way of being productive in our society. I still have relationships with most of the kids that have come through our home, and it’s heartwarming to see them grow into adults that have life skills necessary to succeed. It’s not always easy, and it’s a full-time job, but it’s also so incredibly worth it.”
– TFH Foster Parent in 2020
“I grew up in a home with new bonus kids every now and then that came to live with us until they were able to reunite with their families. I understood from a young age the importance of belonging to a family setting and the kinship that comes with celebrating holidays, birthdays, school functions, and extracurricular accomplishments. To this day, I am still friends with many of the children that came through our home, even as we’re all adults.
My husband grew up in a similar family setting. His mom adopted 4 of their foster children and they were all in our wedding; we are all a very close family. Early in our marriage we talked about being foster parents and in 2006 we received our first placement. It’s been a learning experience, for us; the kids teach us as much as I feel we teach them at times. Having them in our home and watching them grow into themselves has been rewarding. The bonus has been watching our own children learning empathy for others. It’s been a blessing!”
-TFH Foster Parent in 2020
Are you interested in becoming a Therapeutic Foster Parent?
Sherri Schrick, Resource Caregiver Support Specialist: 808.313.0244
The Department of Health provides access to its programs and activities without regard to race, color, national origin/ancestry-including language, age, sex-including gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, color, religion, or disability.
Write or call the Hawaii State Department of Health, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division at 3627 Kilauea Avenue, Room 101 Honolulu, Hawaii 96816 or at (808) 733-9333. Or write or call the Affirmative Action Office at P.O. Box 3378, Honolulu, HI 96801-3378 or at (808) 586-4614 (voice/TRS) or 586-4648 (TDD) within 180 days of a problem.