Therapeutic Foster Care

The Therapeutic Foster Care program allows children to remain in the community, offers support by way of respite for youth and families, and has become an effective alternative to residential and out of state care.

Therapeutic Foster Care, along with the additional services offered, provides intensive therapeutic support in a family setting where Therapeutic Foster Parents provide individualized rehabilitation services for children and youth 3-19 years of age in their homes. All DFS Therapeutic Foster Parents are therapeutically trained and are licensed through the Office of Children’s Services.

Denali Family Services is looking for Therapeutic Foster Parents who meet the following criteria:

  • Three positive references, a positive background check and a basic knowledge of childhood development.
  • Parents who can focus and work on the strengths of the foster child.
  • Parents who work well with the treatment team towards the treatment goals of the child.
  • Parents who have an open mind and are willing to set firm boundaries, while remaining patient and tolerant.
  • Parents to provide a warm, nurturing environment.
  • Parents who will be role models of appropriate expression of anger, good communication skills and socially acceptable hygiene and cleanliness.
  • Must be willing to participate in the licensing process.
  • Must have prior experience as parents, foster parents, child care providers, teachers. residential or group home staff and be willing to attend specialized training.

Licensing process

The State of Alaska, Office of Children’s Services has licensed Denali Family Services (DFS) as a Child Placement Agency. This means that we recruit and license child foster homes for Severely Emotionally Disturbed (SED) children enrolled in services with DFS. Children served are ages three (3) years to nineteen (19) years of age, however, most are between 7 years and 18 years of age. All children in services at DFS have severe behavioral or emotional problems. DFS will license and train you to take care of these children in your home. DFS may also provide additional services to the foster child such as community or school support specialist, case management and a clinician as needed. As a foster parent you are part of the treatment team for the foster child. The goal is to help the child be successful in school and living in a community setting, learning acceptable behaviors. DFS has a 24 hour on-call system to provide support, training and support groups that you may attend.

If you are interested in being a Therapeutic Foster Parent, please follow these instructions:

Contact Denali Family Services at (907) 274-8281 to speak to an agency representative.

After gathering preliminary information about your home, DFS will conduct a background check and sex offender check for all person age 16+ residing in your home and on persons who visit your home regularly.

If you pass the background check, a DFS application is mailed to you.

Upon receipt of the completed application, the Foster Care Department will review your information to determine suitability with our agency.

At this time you may receive a phone call from a DFS Licensing Specialist to conduct an interview with your family in your home. If declined, you will receive a letter from us that we have determined your home is not a good match with our agency.

DFS reviews your application and interview information for further suitability.

If accepted, extensive paperwork and forms are required for licensure as well as fingerprints and pre-service training such as Pressley Ridge that meet the states CORE requirements.

Thirty hours of ongoing training is required annually for each foster parent, as well as an annual TB test, annual physical, MAB training certification, CPR and 1st Aide training. Fire drills are completed monthly and with each new child in placement.

Most of our children have multiple appointments each week, doctors, treatment team meetings, medication reviews, IEP meetings at the schools, and you will need to be available able to transport and attend these appointments.

You will need the ability to complete data entry daily into the DFS computer system. You will enter Medicaid progress notes on each foster child’s progress working towards their treatment goals while living in your foster home.

Good communication is required as well as an ability to be patient and caring with the children in your care.

Please call (907) 274-8281 if you are interested in becoming a therapeutic foster parent to Alaska’s children in need of out of home care.

Denali Family Services is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA). Please review the COA Foster Care Standards for private organizations at


State of Alaska State Regulations and Policy – Community Care Licensing