Devereux earns prestigious certification
to further exceptional foster care services
The Devereux Pennsylvania Children’s
Intellectual and Developmental Disability Services (CIDDS) Community Services
of Philadelphia Foster Care Program and the Devereux Center for Effective
Schools were recently certified in the Together
Facing the Challenge evidence-based model for therapeutic foster care.
Together Facing the Challenge (TFTC) certification
allows Devereux Pennsylvania CIDDS Community Services of Philadelphia to provide independent TFTC
training and consultation to its therapeutic foster parents.
Note: Therapeutic (or treatment) foster
care differs from traditional foster care settings because it is focused on
fostering children with behavioral, emotional and social concerns.
“We are thrilled to be an ‘officially certified
implementer’ of TFTC, and
proud that Devereux Pennsylvania CIDDS is
just the third foster care program in the nation to be fully certified,” said
Devereux Pennsylvania CIDDS Executive Director Melanie Beidler. “Having foster parents who are highly-trained in
this evidence-based model will help them provide an advanced level of care for
these children, giving them the tools they need to provide a loving home, while
teaching specific skills and reducing challenging behaviors.”
Center for Effective Schools (CES) Director Dr. Barry McCurdy added: “This is an immense achievement for our
organization. Devereux Advanced
Behavioral Health is now the largest provider of therapeutic foster care
services nationally to have a site certified in TFTC.”
the TFTC model
is a training
and consultation approach that improves practices in treatment foster care
(TFC). Incorporating elements
from existing evidence-based treatments, the model includes training and consultation
for TFC supervisors and treatment foster parents. TFTC is a train-the-trainer system,
meaning TFC administrative/supervisory personnel learn the model and are then
able to train treatment foster parents.
Just a few program
goals include: implementing
effective parenting techniques, preparing youth for their future by teaching
independence skills, creating a positive home environment and improving
outcomes for youth served in therapeutic foster care settings.
Click here to learn more about the TFTC program.
comprehensive certification process
The process to become TFTC-certified is comprehensive.
“During this two-year endeavor, we conducted numerous
foster parent trainings, restructured case management services, designed
complementary training for case managers to implement the model, and conducted
a two-year outcome study showing a significant and positive impact of TFC on an
urban population,” McCurdy explained. “Achieving full certification was a
result of the combined effort of multiple Devereux centers, departments and
staff members; foster parents; volunteer child care workers and data
collectors; and the Albert M. Greenfield Foundation, which provided the
generous support needed for this initiative.”
a result of the certification, Devereux Pennsylvania CIDDS offers enhanced
foster parent training to build relationships with their foster children. The
training, among other things:
parents identify situations in which a child’s traumatic past can impact his/her
ability to form positive relationships;
cultural sensitivity, exploring and supporting youths’ different aspects of
cooperation, relevant life skills and the use of problem-solving techniques;
foster parents in helping children recognize, talk about and deal with
difficult feelings; and
foster parents prevent power struggles and de-escalate problem behavior.
“With the numbers of youth needing mental
health services on the rise, it is important to ensure that therapeutic foster
care programs are equipped to effectively serve at-risk youth,” said CES
Consulting and Research Psychologist Dr.
Rachel Eisenberg. “The findings from
the research study we conducted – with the implementation of TFTC in PA CIDDS
Community Services of Philadelphia – can help us contribute to the larger
scientific community. Our research study provides further evidence that the
TFTC program is effective in reducing problem behaviors and decreasing youth at
risk for behavioral health concerns (e.g., emotional disturbance).”
Next steps: TFTC expansion!
is currently underway to adopt the TFTC model in other Devereux foster care
programs, leading to an organization-wide implementation of evidence-based
practice in therapeutic foster care.
has been a joy to collaborate on this project with such dedicated professionals
and foster parents who feel strongly about helping foster youth succeed,” said
Devereux Pennsylvania Community Services Director of Clinical Services Dr. Rich Allen. “The best part was seeing the excitement as we worked
with our foster parents to implement this model in a way that meets the unique
needs of foster children in Philadelphia.”
Learn about Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health.
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