What is a treatment team in Foster Care in Virginia?

What is a Treatment team in Foster care in Virginia?

What is a Treatment team in Foster care in Virginia?

The members of a treatment team and their responsibility 

In foster care in the United States, the treatment team comprises individuals who provide assessments and support for children and youth during their time in the foster care system. The team provides support to both the foster children and families.

They assist in designing treatment plans with realistic, person-centered goals and objectives. They ensure the child is getting the services they need to be successful and work through any traumatic experiences and any mental health issues caused by trauma. They consist of the child, the biological family or birth parents, the foster parent(s) or potential adoptive families or permanent families, the DSS worker, the TFC agency worker, the CASA worker, GAL, and other community services.

The Child

The child or sibling group is/ are an active member(s) of the treatment team, especially when they are 14 or older. They can provide feedback about their treatment plan and the goals and objectives outlined. Although the information they provide may not always be utilized, it is considered and documented in the service plan.

The Biological Family

Unless otherwise specified by DSS, the child's biological family will be invited to participate in their treatment team. It is important for them to remain involved in the lives of the child when appropriate.

Therefore, foster parents should refrain from criticism or negative comments regarding the child's biological family. The foster parents should always be supportive and professional towards the family, even if they disapprove of them. This creates an environment where the child feels more comfortable sharing information about their family.

Foster Parent(s)

The foster parents are licensed through a child-placing agency. In order to be approved, they must fulfill many requirements and open their home to a home study. T

hey provide a stable, nurturing home for the child while meeting their basic needs. Foster parents implement the child's treatment goals and objectives through interventions and daily life routines to increase their chances of success. They provide regular updates to the treatment team on the child's progress.

Department of Social Services Social Worker / Placing Locality

When a child first enters the foster care system, they are assigned a DSS worker through the Virginia department of social services or the locality in which they reside.

Within their first 60 days in care, the DSS worker must prepare a foster care plan and report for the courts to review. This plan continues throughout the duration of the child's time in foster care and is updated every six months. The foster care plan includes the child's permanency goal, along with a target date for achievement. The DSS worker visits the child in the foster home at least once a month.

TFC Case Manager/Social Worker

If a child is placed in a therapeutic foster care home, along with their DSS worker, they will be assigned a case manager through the TFC agency. This worker works as the team's middleman, providing case coordination with the other members and working closely with the foster family and child for case management. They work with the team to incorporate everyone's feedback and develop a person-centered comprehensive treatment plan. The TFC worker is also responsible for visiting with the child throughout each month based on their level.

Court Appointed Services Advocate (CASA)

Children in foster care are often assigned a CASA worker. This CASA worker is a trained volunteer who speaks in the child's best interest during the court process. The CASA worker visits with the child in their foster home and may develop a rapport with them. The CASA also visits with the biological family to prepare their report for court hearings.

Guardian Ad Litem (GAL)

The GAL is a judge-appointed attorney. They are responsible for providing their independent recommendations for the child's best interest. The GAL may conduct investigations and interviews to make their report for the court hearings.

Other Community Services

This can be anyone from the child's outpatient therapist, community-based services team members (intensive in-home, therapeutic day treatment, therapeutic mentoring), school professionals, FAPT team members, probation officers, or others. These individuals play an active role in the child's path to healing. They often have goals developed for the child to work on reaching for a period that can be incorporated into the comprehensive treatment plan.

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