“Every child and youth grows, builds on their strengths and reaches their potential in a permanent, positive, and secure environment.” That is the vision of the Treatment Foster Care Program (TFC) which is located in Cobourg, but serves the catchment areas of Durham, Highland Shores and Kawartha-Haliburton Children’s Aid Societies. Today that program marked its 25th anniversary of providing service to children and families.
The Program, which was developed in the fall of 1989, has continued to change and adapt over the years as a result of emerging best practice in terms of normalizing the lives of children. Permanent, enduring and long-term family relationships continue to be the goal of the Program. Treatment Foster Care has seamlessly evolved to provide care and support to children and youth across a number of options which all support family-based and permanent care.
While the Program continues to be geographically centered in Cobourg, it remains a unique and collaborative partnership sponsored by the three Children’s Aid Societies. As such, TFC serves a large geographical area and continues to be very creative in terms of its methods of providing services.
Since its inception, the Program has moved on from its initial offering of the Therapeutic Foster Home Program (TFHP) to now partnering with the Clinical Service Support Program (CSSP) and the Mixed Modality Program (MMP). CSSP was launched in 2003 to support caregivers as well as children and youth in maintaining their placements and preventing breakdowns. While the Program was originally conceived to support placements in foster homes, it has quickly moved to also support adoptions, kin/kith, custody agreements and the return of children to their biological families. The Mixed Modality Program was launched in May 2009. Durham CAS and Highland Shores Children’s Aid came together to sponsor this unique program which consists of parent-led, family-based homes that benefit from the support of Child and Youth Workers from the CAS.
The anniversary celebration, which took place on June 12, 2014 at Durham CAS, included a variety of guest and key note speakers from TFC, the community and the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS). The day also included a new step into the future with the announcement of a name change for the Program from Treatment Foster Care to Therapeutic Family Care. The name change is meant to reflect the Program’s evolution past its early roots of focusing solely on foster care.
Executive Directors, Wanda Secord (Durham CAS), Jennifer Wilson (KHCAS) and Mark Kartusch (HSCA) recognized the vitally important contribution that the Treatment Foster Care Program has made over the past 25 years to children and youth and to the families who care for them.