Specialized Foster Care

Help children with special medical, emotional or behavioral needs … heal, overcome challenges and return to family. Help a child and family heal … be a specialized foster parent.


There is a great need for families who are willing to become licensed and approved for specialized foster care. Being a specialized foster parent is challenging, but also extremely rewarding. Foster parents who choose to provide care to higher needs kids are able to make incredible differences in the lives of foster children who so desperately need it.


What is specialized foster care?

Specialized Foster Care provides children with a combination of the best elements of traditional foster care and individualized and intensive treatments designed for their unique needs. Each foster child’s emotional, behavioral, social and medical health needs are assessed and LCFS works to find an appropriate foster home to maximize the youth’s success and healing.

LCFS also provides additional specialized training and ongoing support to specialized foster families to ensure they are fully-equipped to help with the child’s individual treatment and behavioral plan. Specialized foster parents are provided with an additional 12 hours of training per year on topics such as mental health and trauma disorders, which is above and beyond what is required for license renewal. A tailored training plan is mutually developed between LCFS’ licensing representative and the foster parent, in order to provide the requisite tools to address the needs of the child.

The majority of children who enter foster care are able to return to their birth parents. Foster parents play a significant and meaningful role in making this happen. A couple ways that foster parents support this process includes, hosting visits with birth parents in their home and attending school conferences and special events together. It is important that foster children never feel torn between the two sides. Everyone should act as one and in the best interests of the children.

To learn more about Specialized Foster Care, contact LCFS to speak to a foster care licensing representative.


What youth are in need of Specialized Foster Care?

Children are referred to Specialized Foster Care programs to address serious levels or emotional, behavioral and medical health needs.

The types of children in need of a specialized foster home include:

  • Children/youth who have experienced severe and chronic trauma that has gone unaddressed
  • Children that are medically fragile or severely developmentally delayed
  • Youth who are ready for discharge from a residential treatment center, but need intensive services and supports in a family setting 
  • Youth whose current behaviors interferes with his/her interpersonal relationships and social interactions 


What does it take to be a successful Specialized Foster Parent?

  • Patience
  • Persistence 
  • Flexibility 
  • Commitment to skill building through training and support 
  • Calm in the midst of stress
  • Ability to be a team player
  • Good stress management skills
  • A support system of friends, extended family, etc.

Consider becoming an LCFS Specialized Foster Parent

Being a foster parent may be challenging, but the rewards are enormous. If you come with optimism and realistic expectations, LCFS will support you with a team that guides you through the process and assists you in making a difference in the life of a child.

To learn more about the requirements and process to become a licensed foster parent, click here. If you think you have what it takes to be a successful Specialized Foster Parent or want to learn more, contact us.