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Treatment Foster Care Oregon (TFCO)

Treatment Foster Care Oregon is a specialised foster care program that supports children and young people with complex behaviours.

What is Treatment Foster Care Oregon (TFCO)?

Treatment Foster Care Oregon is a specialised foster care program based on over 40 years of international evidence and research developed as an alternative to institutional, residential and group care placements designed to increase positive behaviours in children and young people with the aim of reuniting them with their families.

It’s a short-term placement of around six to 12 months in the specialised foster carers family home. TFCO carers provide close supervision and implement a structured, individualised program for each child or young person.

Two versions of the TFCO program are implemented, each serving specific age groups

  • TFCO-A for young people aged 12-17 years in VIC and NSW
  • TFCO-C for children aged 7-11 years run in VIC, QLD and NSW
9 months to turn a life around

How is TFCO different to other types of foster care?

  • An Exact Program Guide: TFCO carers are closely supervised daily, directed and must follow the exact instruction in this highly prescriptive program.
  • Short Term: This program typically needs six to 12 months to make positive changes in a child or young person’s behaviour, enabling them to live well in a stable family environment.
  • Flexibility: TFCO carers will need to be available for their foster child or young person if needed at any time, day or night.
  • Location: TFCO carers will live within one hour of the TFCO offices in either NSW, QLD or VIC.
  • Highly Supportive: TFCO carers will be supported by a treatment team that provides intensive support and consultation to the foster parents. The team includes a family therapist, an individual therapist, a skills trainer, and daily telephone contact. The team meets weekly to review progress, review the daily behavioural information, and adjust the child or young person’s individualised treatment plan.
  • Transition Support: TFCO continues to support the birth family or long-term carer with therapy and parent training. Families learn to provide consistent discipline, supervise and provide encouragement, and use a modified version of the behaviour management system. Therapy is provided to prepare parents for their child’s return home to reduce conflict and increase positive relationships. Family sessions and home visits during the child or young person’s placement in TFCO provide opportunities for the parents to practice learnt skills.
  • Support: Receive full training and 24/7 support. All qualified carers receive a tax-free allowance of $75,000 per annum, pro rata (VIC and QLD) and $80,000 per annum (NSW) to help with the costs associated with supporting a child or young person.

Program objectives

  • Create opportunities to successfully live in the family home rather than in group or institutional settings
  • Provide daily structure with clear expectations and fair and specific consequences
  • An environment that supports daily school attendance and engagement
  • Help develop positive attachments to adults

Who can become a treatment foster carer?

We’re looking for people from all walks of life. Race, gender, marital status, sexuality, and religion do not affect your eligibility to become a carer. We’re looking for individuals and couples who are:

  • Over the age of 21.
  • Have a suitable living space and a spare bedroom in the home.
  • Ideally, don’t work at all. However, if your work is highly flexible and only minimal hours, we could explore this with you. This is only relevant for full-time carers. Respite carers are OK to work part-time or full-time.
  • Having experience in dealing with children or young people with complex behaviours is not mandatory but is preferable.
  • Living near one of our TFCO offices. Please click on your state to view a large map:

Become a treatment
Foster Carer

Becoming a specialised foster carer can be incredibly fulfilling, knowing you’re helping get children and young people with complex behaviours back on track, and giving them the best chance to shine.

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