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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.