At KidsPeace, we believe the first placement is the best placement, which is why we take such care to match children with foster families who are best able to meet their needs. There are different levels of care in many of our KidsPeace locations, and varying lengths of stay for different placement situations.
Traditional Foster Care: Most often this is the first level of foster care for children who are not able to remain at home because of unsafe parenting or home environments. Reuniting children with families is a primary focus of the team, and there are frequent family visits during this time. Sibling groups and younger children are commonly referred to this level of care while their parents work on resolving the issues that led to the foster care placement. Sometimes, it’s determined that children cannot return home after all, and the foster family may be given first consideration as a permanent resource.
Therapeutic Foster Care: Many children who enter KidsPeace Foster Care have endured intense trauma and are in need of counseling and/or medication in addition to safe, nurturing homes. It is not uncommon for children who have experienced or witnessed physical, emotional or psychological abuse to act out their emotions even after they are removed from dangerous situations. Our therapeutic foster care program trains qualified foster parents to understand and respond to these challenging behaviors so the youth can grow and thrive. We work closely with local departments of social services to ensure safety, well-being and permanency for our children. There is 24-hour on-call support, and placements can also be made around the clock.
Respite: Foster parenting is a tough job, and sometimes foster families need a break. Respite care, usually offered for a weekend, involves caring for a child when a foster family needs a break for illness or simply a time to regroup and consult with the treatment team. Some families start out providing respite care to determine if foster parenting is right for their household. Emergency care: KidsPeace offers emergency placements for children who have been removed from their homes and need a place to live for a few days or weeks. Occasionally, emergency placements turn into longer placements. Families willing to take children at any time of the day or night are very much appreciated.
Kinship Foster Care: Because being placed with family is less traumatizing than traditional foster care, kinship care keeps children with relatives who have been identified by the child protective services placement staff and are willing to go through the foster parent screening process. Services are similar to traditional foster care.
The goal at KidsPeace is always to achieve permanency for our children. Sometimes that means children are reunited with their biological families. But other times, parental rights are terminated, and the children need to find new homes through adoption. Adoption prevents youth from languishing in the foster care system until they are adults. KidsPeace offices work with state agencies to ensure all adoption studies and required documentation are completed in a timely manner. KidsPeace also continues to support the families who have adopted their foster children. Additionally, in Pennsylvania, KidsPeace helps families pursue in-state and/or international adoption, including private adoption home studies.
KidsPeace Foster Care programs serve males and females from birth to age 21. In addition to meeting basic needs, services might address social and emotional difficulties, medical issues, developmental delays, learning problems, psychological and psychiatric issues, and behavioral challenges. In some locations, we offer specialized services for medically fragile youth or pregnant teenage mothers who need foster care for themselves and their babies.