parents tickling their daughter


  • Many Arizona children from birth to 17 years are removed from their families each year.
  • These children are placed in foster care homes, on a short-term basis, until the issues that cause the family’s foundational breakdown, and subsequent removal of the child from the home, can be resolved and the family reunified.
  • Many of these boys and girls come into the custody of the Department of Child Safety (DCS) due to acute safety issues in their homes and a lack of access to healthy lifestyles and well being.
  • DCS works with Intermountain and its affiliates to access, train and support foster families who can teach, encourage and nurture children who have experienced challenging circumstances in their young lives.
  • Behaviors vary based on each child’s family histories.
  • Children requiring foster care often suffer from night terrors, bedwetting, temper tantrums and intense fear of punishment.
  • Removed from their families under emergency circumstances, children may arrive at foster homes with limited personal belongings.
  • Our Foster Care Program provides children with a stable, supportive family and home environment while working with the biological family to reunite them when it is safe to do so.
  • For young adults 17 1/2-21 years of age we offer Extended Foster Care (EFC) services. Click here to view the requirements and referral process. Interested applicants over the age of 18 should call or text the Transitional Independent Living Program (TILP) Department at (480)651-3348 to request to re-enroll in EFC.


We recruit and train families to provide care for tribal children. Families who can be culturally sensitive and who are able to work with tribal nations are needed. Many children requiring tribal foster care come from a background of abuse and neglect. Each child and their foster family are assigned a coordinator to aid in problem-solving and behavior-management strategies. Tribal foster care parents are provided a daily rate to compensate for the extra time and attention these children need.


  • Children placed in TFC homes can have heightened emotional and behavioral needs that require intensive parenting skills.
  • This is a rewarding way for skilled and/or experienced parents to provide foster care.
  • In most cases, these children have been removed from their families and have lived in various group homes and/or more restrictive settings.
  • Stability and safety are important needs for therapeutic foster children.
  • Therapeutic foster children look to the foster parent for structured but nurturing support and to learn how to be a part of a healthy family unit.
  • Therapeutic foster children must learn how to function in the self-care, future planning, social, academic, leisure/recreational and community realms without the support of their biological families.
  • Because many children requiring therapeutic foster care come from a background of abuse and neglect, each child and their foster family are assigned a coordinator.
  • The coordinator aids in problem-solving and behavior-management strategies.

Objective of the Therapeutic Foster Care Program:
Transition each child into a permanent family setting—to a DES foster family, adoptive family or biological family for reunification—that will provide permanence.

Additional Requirements for Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC) Homes

  • Parent candidates need to have one year of verifiable work experience with Special Needs children and/or a bachelor’s degree in one of the Social Sciences.
  • Couple candidates need to ensure that one of the two is home at all times and available to the child throughout each day.
  • Each child you foster in your home needs their own bedroom.
  • Partner with Intermountain Centers and espouse the agency’s philosophy of providing a caring teaching environment for any youth in your care, rather than solely a custodial environment.
  • Your home is free of weapons and alcohol.
  • Agree and comply with a contract to provide TFC Services as an Independent Contractor with Intermountain Centers.
  • Complete the following additional training:
    • Arizona Professional Foster Parenting Classes – 18 hours
    • CPR/First Aid – 4 hours
    • CPI (Crisis Prevention Institute) Training – 8 to 12 hours
    • Behavioral Health Documentation and Incident Report Writing – 2 hours
    • Medication Handling – 2.5 hours
    • Behavioral Concepts – 3 hours
    • Practicum – 12 hours


  • Developmental Homes are foster homes that serve children/youth with the following diagnoses:
    • Cerebral Palsy
    • Autism
    • Epilepsy
    • Cognitive/Intellectual Disabilities
  • These homes are designed to support and maximize the functioning of the children placed in them.
  • Intermountain Centers’ program focuses on individualized support plans that promote the development of self-care, leisure, academic, vocational, social and community skills.
  • Care providers assist individuals placed in their charge to achieve and maintain a quality of life that promotes their vision of the future.
  • With the help of Intermountain’s support staff, care providers’ homes are licensed and certified as developmental homes.
  • The staff supports care providers to ensure that the needs of the individuals placed in their homes are met.
  • Intermountain establishes a contract with the developmental home provider that includes a rate of reimbursement for each person placed in a developmental home.