The children and youth served in treatment foster care are normally described as "troubled", "difficult" or "challenging".They generally have emotional and behaviour problems that cannot easily be accommodated in regular foster care. Treatment foster care bridges the service gap between the capacities of regular foster care and facility-based group homes and other types of residential programs, normally operated by staff. Maple Star offers treatment foster care as an alternative to group homes or residential facilities, preventing such placements or reducing the length of stay in these facilities. In contrast to regular foster care, treatment foster care has:
• lower caseloads for the case manager
• more experienced providers who have worked with these types of challenging youth
• only 1 - 3 children per home with at least one provider who is at home full-time
• extensive support - youth care workers, tutors, and wrap-around services
Unlike group homes or residential care facilities, treatment foster care is family-based with the types of support that are generally available in group homes or residential facilities.