Approval Process and Training


An initial phone conversation will occur to determine if the applicant may be a good match for the Enhanced Family Treatment team.  If the applicant and the Agency agree to proceed, applicants will complete the comprehensive approval process including:

  • Screening:

To determine initial eligibility, applications shall be screened to see if they meet agency requirements.  Agency requirements include appropriate experience and/or education and satisfactory review of driving record and background check.  Screening to include:

  1. Completed application packet including three relevant references.
  2. Background checks including fingerprinting.
  3. Extensive interviews through the home study process
  4. If applicable, EFT will gather information from perspective family’s providers and other agencies they have interfaced with. 
  • Sharing Information:

Applicants will review this packet explaining the services, policies, procedures, and expectations of the agency as well as the DCF Licensing Regulations publication found in the inquiry packet. Perspective foster families are encouraged to ask many questions during the process.

  • In-Person Meeting:

During the screening process the EFT Resource Coordinator in conjunction with EFT clinical staff will meet (usually in the home) with all members of the household in an effort to understand the perspective foster family. Additionally this in-person meeting is a time for the family to continue asking questions and exploring if our program is the best fit.

  • Home Inspection:

The home will be physically inspected by a member of our team to determine compliance with all Vermont regulations for the physical facility.

  • Written Home Study:

Upon completion of the above steps, a written home study will be prepared. The home study involves multiple interviews and conversations with family members to get a full understanding of the family, home and previous life experiences that have led to the decision to foster. This is the final step in deciding if the children we serve in our program are a fit for an individual or family.

  • Final Decision and Approval:

Final selection as a foster parent will be determined after a thorough and careful overview of the entire approval process.  The Assistant Director of the EFT team will review all information and determine if the application is to proceed.  If so, all information will be forwarded to the Director of the Comprehensive Care Program for final approval.  The applicant will be notified of the results. Denial of agency approval is non-grievable.

Foster Care Approval Process


Approved candidates will undergo the following training.  Some training may be waived on an individual basis. Often the order and timing of the trainings is based on training and provider availability.

  • EFT Foster Care Orientation (2 hours) Handbook provided
  • Child Welfare Training Partnership: “First Steps” (1 day or 6 phone sessions)


  • Child Welfare Training Partnership: “Foundations” Training
  • Crisis De-escalation for Foster Parents
  • CPR/First Aid Course
  • Administering Meds
  • Teaming with Birth Families
  • Trauma Informed Care
    • Opportunities for Ongoing Advanced Education:
      • Continuing Education will be offered on an ongoing basis.  Foster parents must participate in a minimum of 8 hours of training annually.
      • Howard Center offers a variety of workshops through the Continuing Education Calendar.  Trainings may also be facilitated by a variety of agencies and through individual supervision. Please reach out to the EFT Resource Coordinator for Training opportunities.