New Children’s Home program offers modern approach to foster child mental health

Children's Home of Jefferson County
Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 6:42 AM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - The Children’s Home of Jefferson County has been chosen to be part of a new treatment foster care program aimed at helping youth who are most at risk.

“Treatment Foster Care Oregon Program, or TFCO, is a clinically intensive program where we have a foster family where one parent has a flexible job or is possibly a stay-at-home parent,” director of clinical operations Austen Labarge said, “and they only have one foster youth and they have a 24/7 team of therapists available to work with this kid.”

This program has just kicked off and needs foster parents willing to take a modern approach toward mental health in the foster care system.

“These youth are often mislabeled and looked at as troubled or challenging when the real aspect is these youth have been through a lot of trauma, a lot of things hard to imagine or go through, and the way trauma impacts the nervous system and the brain really changes how they act and behaviors they demonstrate,” Labarge said, “so this model demonstrates that and sets them up for success in the future.”

Research has shown that kids who go through this program are less likely to have children of their own that enter the child welfare system.

“It really makes a generational impact on these youth and their families,” Labarge said.

If you are interested in joining this new program as a foster parent, call the Children’s Home at 315-788-7430.