• Easterseals UCP foster family smiling with adopted children

Foster Care

Foster care helps kids thrive

Did you know that kids with behavioral and mental health challenges show the most improvement when supported in a loving home? This is why safe and supportive home environments are crucial for a child’s overall wellbeing. Foster parents champion their foster children and provide nurturing, stable homes where they can thrive.

Easterseals UCP’s inclusive foster care program helps make meaningful and life-changing connections. We are a nonprofit foster care agency that always acts in the best interest of the children we serve.

We serve a diverse group of children who are predominantly school-age and oftentimes with behavioral and emotional challenges. Many of these children have been in the foster care system for an extended period of time and have experienced a wide range of trauma. No two foster children are the same and no two foster families are the same! We recruit individuals from all walks of life to welcome children into their homes. We offer 24-hour support, ongoing training and financial reimbursement to our foster parents and families.

All children deserve a loving and nurturing home. It’s our vision is to see children in the foster care system reunified with their families when it is safe and appropriate. We strive to provide the best out-of-home care for foster children until a permanent placement can be achieved.

Partner in Prevention Seal

Easterseals UCP’s Foster Care program has achieved Partner in Prevention status from Darkness to Light, an international nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower adults to prevent child sexual abuse. This identifies us as a partner who has taken extra steps to protect the children we serve by training our staff to understand the issue of child sexual abuse, identify unsafe situations and practices, and react responsibly in the best interest of the children we serve.

We offer 3 types of Foster Care

Traditional Family Foster Care

Children in Traditional Family Foster Care have experienced trauma and are in need of supportive, loving homes. This service incorporates the following supports for foster parents and children:

  • Specialized training to care for medically fragile children.
  • 24-hour crisis support.
  • Monthly in-person contact with Easterseals UCP staff to discuss the child’s wellbeing and ensure licensing requirements.
  • Team meetings that include everyone involved in the child’s case including: Department of Social Services, birth parents,
  • ESUCP staff and foster parents.
  • On-going support and training.
  • Pre-licensing parent skills (40-hour class).
  • First aid, CPR and medication administration.
  • De-escalation techniques.
  • Understanding trauma.
  • Client rights.
Therapeutic Foster Care

Children in Therapeutic Foster Care typically have manageable behaviors with moderate behavioral and emotional needs. Therapeutic Foster Care is a proven mental health service provided to a child in a family setting by trained foster parents. This service incorporates the following supports for foster parents and children:

  • Maximum of 2 children may be placed in a home.
  • 24-hour crisis support is available.
  • Weekly in-person contact.
  • Monthly team meetings.
  • Ongoing support and training.
Intensive Alternate Family Treatment (IAFT)

Children in IAFT typically have significant behavioral and emotional challenges. IAFT provides a therapeutic family style treatment with trained parents in the community. Children receiving this service typically have had difficulty with past treatment options and are at-risk for hospitalization or group home placement. This service incorporates the following supports for foster parents and children:

  • Maximum of 1 child may be placed in a home.
  • 24-hour crisis support.
  • Weekly in-person contact and daily phone contact.
  • Weekly team meetings.
  • On-going support and training.
  • Weekly therapy.

Here’s what individuals are saying about foster care…

To have been given the opportunity to share my heart with the children in my home and receive their love in return is an honor. Our experiences together have bonded us forever as a family. Being a foster parent is a life changing experience that I am grateful for.”

“Being a foster parent is one of the hardest and most rewarding experiences I’ve ever participated in…I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything! It has changed my life in the best ways imaginable, and has taught me to love in ways I didn’t think were possible.”

“Fostering takes an abundance of patience, courage and support. The stay might be temporary, but the impact is forever long. My goal is for them to become highly productive and positive people with a limitless future! I hope they understand I’m always in their corner, I support them and will always be a shoulder to lean on.”

“Being foster parents is living out our purpose in life. It’s having compassion to serve and the will to help and love others.”

“I do what I do because our kids matter – they deserve nurturing homes where they can learn they are loved, safe and so much more than what has happened to them.”

“I love my job. Easterseals UCP gives me the opportunity to work alongside of children and a wonderful supportive team. I cannot think of a better job than one that pays me for what I love to do. It is all about the children. Foster love. Foster hope.”

“The most rewarding part of my job is knowing that I have been a part of providing a child in fostervcare the same experiences and opportunities as a child who is not in a foster home.”

“When dealing with a very intense placement, everyone was at ESUCP was on board with me. I felt safe and supported! Easterseals UCP ROCKS!”

“Easterseals UCP foster parents are exactly what we want to see foster parents be for our children. One foster parent has remained calm and did not give up. I want to commend her for all that she has done. I would feel comfortable to place any of my children with her in the future.  She has been so great!”

“Our Easterseals UCP team member personifies teamwork and collaboration. She has given her foster parents a tremendous amount of support, attended all the meetings, kept me in the loop and was professional, compassionate, optimistic and extremely knowledgeable. She’s such a strong advocate for her foster parents and children. I could not ask for a better partner and this is the WAY IT SHOULD BE! She has gone above and beyond and I appreciate her so much.”

Learn more about becoming a foster parent!