Specialized Therapeutic Foster Care program

Specialized Therapeutic Foster Care (STFC) is the most secure level of foster care requiring 33 hours of additional pre-service training and 24 hours per year of in-service training. These homes care for children who have behaviors based on their past traumas that keep them from normal functioning at school and in the community. HEADS recruits homes in Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Polk, Hardee, Highlands, Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, Sarasota, Manatee, DeSoto, Charlotte, Lee, Collier, Hendry, and Glades counties.

Would you like the opportunity to become a caregiver to a child in need? Sign up for more info to Become a Specialized Therapeutic Foster Parent


How do I become an STFC parent?

If you are not currently licensed as a foster parent in Florida you start by taking our “PRIDE Next Generation” course which includes 3 onsite classes spread over 5 weeks. In the intervening weeks you study course work online through “foster parent college”. You must be able to pass a level 2 state, local, and FBI background check. Once this training is complete (or if you already have it) then you would begin a 33 hour training onsite that is spread out over 3 consecutive weekends.

Do I have a choice of what type of children are placed in my home?

During training foster parents often tend to visualize the type of child (age, gender, and behaviors) they feel they are best suited to work with. This could also be based on the makeup of children and the number of bedrooms in your home. When we are alerted that a child needs a bed we contact the homes with available beds that we feel will be best suited to meet the needs of that child. We present the child to the prospective home and include all the information we have regarding the child’s history and current level of functioning. A prospective home may then participate in a staffing attended by all the professionals currently involved in the child’s life. If the parent is willing to work with that child, then the placement is made.

What is the typical length of stay for a child in an STFC home?

This is a treatment program and therefore time limited. Usually a successful length of stay will be around 12 months.

Can I foster more than one STFC child at a time?

An STFC home may be licensed to provide services for up to 2 children at a time.