Foster Care

Information for Professionals

Information for Social Services Professionals

Sometimes placing children in foster care is the best option, but that doesn’t make it easy. Berkshire has designed its foster care services to make things less stressful on everyone. We are dedicated to providing the best foster care experience possible for the children we serve, the foster parents who care for them, and the county professionals monitoring their progress.

Rapid Response

For children needing care, time is of the essence. Berkshire focuses on turning around foster care referrals rapidly. We also provide emergency kinship certifications typically in less than 24 hours. Berkshire also attends all court proceedings and completes all of the necessary paperwork, including:mom and foster daughter reading

  1. FASPS
  2. Permanency Hearing Reports
  3. Assessments
  4. Monthly Treatment Reviews

Services

Berkshire provides a full range of foster care services, including:
  1. Treatment Foster Care
  2. Therapeutic Foster Care
  3. Kinship Certification
  4. Respite Care
  5. Individualized Family Visitation
  6. Family Planning
  7. Independent Living Education
  8. Adoption Assistance
  9. Specialized Independent Living Services
  10. Specialized in-home clinical services

Tailored Treatment and Planning

At Berkshire it’s not one size fits all. We focus on understanding the needs of the children we serve. During the first 30 days, we work closely to create a custom treatment plan that sets appropriate goals for children and families, provides referrals to needed resources, and set up therapeutic and clinical services.

For any youth over age 14, we begin to help them prepare for their future as adults, providing independent living services through specially trained family specialists who work one-on-one with each youth on independent living and their future beyond foster care.

Here are some of the services that Berkshire can provide as part of its tailored treatment and planning:

  1. Weekly independent living groups
  2. A biannual Ansell Casey Life Skills Assessment
  3. Counseling on setting and achieving individual goals
  4. Transitional Plans for youth aging out of foster care
  5. Ongoing clinical groups for youth and birth parents
  6. Regular therapy
  7. Full-time, onsite clinical counseling
  8. Opportunities for youth to take part in personal development and leadership training through Focus on Youth or Youth in Progress
  9. Access to psychologists for clinical assessments, diagnosis, and treatment recommendations
  10. Access to psychiatric nurse practitioners for assessment and medication management

Foster Parent Training

We know that thorough training and support is key to foster parent success. Berkshire provides intensive foster parent training through our GPS/MAPP programs, which also include training in CPR, First Aid, and Therapeutic Crisis Intervention. After their initial training, we provide an annual, 12-hour training course for each parent focused on their special needs. We also offer ongoing training for parents and families throughout the year.

Support

Berkshire prides itself on providing outstanding support for our foster families. We have foster care staff on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We also provide regular respite opportunities for foster parents who may need a short break.

We also provide direct support for the children in our program, meeting with each of them at least twice a month. Children in our therapeutic program meet with a caseworker four times a month and also have access to a range of clinical services from social work counselors to psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychologists.

Team Approach

A team of experts that includes the professionals from county as well as our program coordinator, home finder, clinician and consulting psychologist work together to match children and families. Together we discuss and take into account the families’ strengths and the child’s needs to ensure a successful outcome.

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