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Southeast Kansas Multi-systemic Therapeutic Foster Care Project

Monday, May 8, 2006

The SEK Therapeutic Foster Care Project provides support and training for families and youth receiving therapeutic foster care. The project goal is to use a family-based setting to successfully support youth whose antisocial behavior puts them at serious risk for multiple foster care placements, referral to in-patient treatment and Juvenile Justice. The project is not appropriate for youth whose primary issues are substance abuse or sexual predation.

Youth Served

  • Boys and girls 8 to 18 years of age
  • With or without mental retardation, autism or other developmental disability
  • With or without mental illness
  • For whom viable aftercare has been identified

Service Delivery Area

Foster and aftercare homes may be located in any of the 12 southeast Kansas counties. Participating counties include Allen, Bourbon, Chautaqua, Cherokee, Crawford, Elk, Greenwood, Labette, Montgomery, Neosho, Woodson, and Wilson.

Project Description

  • Positive and behavioral: An emphasis is placed on recognizing, teaching, and rewarding good behavior while understanding that bad behavior is often a reality. The support team establishes consequences for good and bad behavior for each youth individually. Contingencies are consistently applied at home, in the community, and at school. Like any other skill, good behavior becomes easier and more natural with practice.
  • Birth family/aftercare resource involvement: The youth’s support team includes those people responsible for aftercare. The Family Counselor works with the family to improve parenting skills, reduce conflict, and create an aftercare network that continues to promote the progress made by the youth during placement in the therapeutic foster home.
  • Short-term: After 6-9 months of therapeutic foster care the youth return to their biological/adoptive family or to an appropriate permanent aftercare setting. The foster home is a therapeutic setting, not a permanent placement.
  • Data based: Behavior support plans are written and evaluated based on behavior data collected daily. Project personnel collect the data each day in a telephone call to the foster parents.
  • Team driven: The entire support team evaluates and makes treatment decisions. Project personnel are responsible for assuring that all team members have an opportunity to review and discuss the data and to effect the team’s course of action.
  • 24-hour on-call support: Someone from the project staff is available to foster parents and aftercare providers at all times. • Medical services: All participating youth will be under the care of the physician working in conjunction with this project. Foster Care Homes and Services
  • Foster and aftercare homes must be within the 12-county service area
  • No treatment (i.e., medication changes, therapy, counseling, etc.) outside SEK Therapeutic Foster Care will occur during placement
  • Only one youth at a time will be served in each therapeutic foster home
  • Project personnel provide ongoing training and support to the foster care family
  • Biological/adoptive families receive family therapy
  • Youth receive individual therapy and skills training


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