FamilyWorks, Inc. is a not-for-profit Treatment Foster Care (TFC) program that is licensed and certified by the New Mexico Children, Youth, and Families Department to license, train, and support Treatment Foster Parents, and treat children ages 3 through 18 who are placed in their homes. TFC provides clinical supervision/on-call, therapy, and case management services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the youth and families engaged in this program. FamilyWorks, Inc., a separate corporation that has a management agreement with Desert Hills Hospital, provides administrative oversight of these services.
The purpose of Treatment Foster Care is to place seriously emotionally disturbed children and adolescents in the homes of trained and licensed parents who are skilled in helping these young people develop appropriate skills and techniques for managing emotions and behaviors. The goal of this program is to work with the natural family and to reunite the child with their natural environment by providing weekly individual and family therapy in a temporary home environment that is conducive to healing and beneficial skill development.
Many children and adolescents who partake in this program possess the following backgrounds and are appropriate for this type of programming:
- Successful completion of treatment in a psychiatric hospital and/or residential treatment center
- Personal history of ongoing issues that affect their ability to appropriately control their behavior and express emotion
- Personal history of impaired family relationships
Furthermore, Treatment Foster Care addresses issues such as anger management, impulse control, and emotional instability and can be an alternative to inpatient or RTC placement.
Our services are coordinated with managed care organizations. All the children and adolescents who are placed in Treatment Foster Care receive assistance from their assigned Treatment Coordinator to secure authorization for placement and corresponding services such as individual and family therapy, as well as medication management if it is deemed necessary. Once a placement has been authorized, the youth in this program will interact with the following qualified and experienced professionals:
- TFC’s Placement Coordinator who will carefully match each client assessed for placement with a prospective TFC family to ensure that all significant treatment concerns are addressed and reviewed with the TFC family. This thorough matching process also involves collaboration with our director.
- TFC Treatment Coordinators, under supervision of the director, work one-on-one with their clients/families and the TFC parents to develop the treatment plan, organize monthly treatment review meetings, and facilitate ongoing problem-solving efforts to maintain the client’s placement without disruption.
- Master’s level therapists who meet weekly with clients and their biological family to assist in developing better communication and coping skills that support and stabilize these primary relationships. The therapist works with the treatment coordinators to develop effective behavioral interventions and is an active member of the treatment team.
Additionally, TFC’s Director, a Master’s level, licensed professional, provides supervision for the treatment staff in order to maintain clinical standards of care within our program. The director also organizes the training and licensing process for all new TFC parents and provides monthly training and support for the TFC parents who house and care for the youth in this program. Our new/potential TFC parents receive a 40-hour pre-service training under the supervision of our director, of which includes the following:
- Specialized training in understanding types of clients who are appropriate for this program
- Management of crisis or other problematic behaviors
- CPR training
- First Aid training
Additionally, each parent is carefully screened using the following methods prior to being approved as a Treatment Foster Care Parent:
- Criminal records checks are completed on a national, state, and local level
- CYFD check to ensure that our parents do not have criminal records or substantiated child abuse/neglect charges against them
- A thorough home study is completed to validate that the home environment is safe and that each member of the family can effectively contribute to the care of any child placed in the home
Each TFC parent is also required to maintain a minimum of 24 hours annual training in order to maintain his or her licensure as a Treatment Foster Care parent. Lastly, our TFC parents reflect the multicultural values and traditions of New Mexico families, modeling respect and acceptance of children from a myriad of diverse backgrounds.
By delivering such services, our hope is to reunify families knowing that they now have the skills and emotional wellbeing to care for one another in a healthy and effective way.