Placement and Ongoing Supprt

Assignment and Placement

In all types of foster care, Howard Center is committed to ensuring a smooth transition in and out of the foster home and to providing consistent support to the child, guardian, and foster parent to maximize the chances of successful outcomes for everyone.

The majority of children in foster care are deeply connected within Howard Center programs.  The EFT Director, in conjunction with the Family Clinician and Resource Coordinator, will determine with whom the client is placed for care.  When considering placement, emphasis will always be placed on the suitability of the arrangement for both the client and the foster family.  Whenever possible, this team will consider the situation for which care is needed and make an appropriate match from the pool of pre-approved and trained Foster Parents.  Strong consideration will be given to the child's educational placement.

When a potential match is decided upon, the following occurs:

  • The foster family receives valuable information about the child’s mental health needs through a meeting with the client’s Family Clinician and Resource Coordinator. This is to ensure the foster family provides the most therapeutic and supportive care possible. This will include sharing of a crisis and/or safety plan as well as the child’s Individual Plan of Care. 

Individual Plan of Care: All children who are open for service at Howard Center have diagnoses and an Individual Plan of Care, which guides services and treatment through identifying goals the child and his or her team are working towards.  The foster family will be knowledgeable of the plan and will be notified of any changes. The assigned Family Clinician will work with the foster family to coordinate implementation of the plan in their home.

  • Information about the foster family will be provided to the child's family or guardian prior to placement. 
  • The child (and child’s family) is introduced to the family slowly and mindfully.  Short visits are planned prior to a regular visit. The child's family will be involved in the placement process whenever possible.

The Agreement (AKA Foster Parent Contract)

At the time a child is placed, Howard Center and the Foster Family will jointly enter into a Foster Care Agreement specifying the expectations around the particular child and clarifying payment. This will be reviewed and signed by the foster parent or family before placement.

Ongoing Supports

In all types of Foster Care, Howard Center is committed to providing consistent support to the foster parent to maximize the chances of successful outcomes for child and foster parent.

 Home Visits (minimum standard)
The foster child’s Family Clinician will periodically visit the foster home to confirm the family is meeting the child’s individual needs as well as ensuring the foster family feels supported through the placement.

 Weekend Overnight Respite and Shared Parenting:
The Family Clinician will visit the foster home at least monthly.

Long Term & Short Term Intervention:
The Family Clinician will visit the foster home within seven days of placement, and at least weekly after that.

The following are some of the ways to access support from the EFT team:        

If during normal business hours:

  • Call or email the child’s Family Clinician with kid specific questions or concerns
  • Call or email EFT’s Resource Coordinator, Katie Nee with general foster care questions
  • Call or email EFT’s Clinical Director, Christine Toomey

If outside normal business hours (emergency):

  • Page EFT’s 24/7 On-Call Clinical Pager for support through crisis
  • Call First Call