Treatment Foster Parent FAQs

Two days smile with two foster youth

What You Need to Know

EnCircle seeks Treatment Foster Parents who are committed to supporting youth in achieving permanency. This could mean supporting the youth in returning home to their biological family or relatives, adopting them if they are unable to return home, and being a lifelong connection for them.

Loving treatment foster families come from many different backgrounds and circumstances. They are people who have room in their hearts and homes and who have a desire to make a difference in the life of a child.

Requirements to be a treatment foster parent:

• 21 years of age or older
• Financially self-supporting
• Valid driver’s license
• Ability to pass a criminal background check and child protective services check
• Physically able to care for a child
• Personal references
• A safe space in your home for a child/children
• Time to spend and care for children

Do I receive financial support?

Treatment foster parents receive monthly financial support from the state of Virginia. This amount varies depending on the needs of the child and is used for child-related costs such as food, clothing, and housing. Children in foster care have their own medical and dental coverage through Medicaid.

What types of foster care does enCircle offer?

Treatment Foster Care (TFC) — Treatment foster care combines the positive aspects of a nurturing family environment with active and structured treatment. Children in treatment foster care are typically older and need a more therapeutic setting to heal from loss, abuse, and neglect. The children we serve may have moderate behavioral challenges, developmental and emotional delays, or be medically fragile. Often they have been in foster care for a long time.

What about fostering an older child?

EnCircle can assist you in fostering an older child from our Treatment Foster Care Program. These children are usually 12 years of age or older, often in sibling groups, often people of color, and may have behavioral and emotional challenges.

What about adopting a child?

EnCircle does not work with families who want adoption only. We are happy to assist families looking for adoptive placements by referring to our partner agencies.

Is there training?

EnCircle is proud of its training program, which lasts three to four weeks. Families also receive a comprehensive, user-friendly handbook with information, parenting tips and forms. Because we want parents to be as informed and prepared as possible, we require that they attend ongoing training once they are certified. Call the enCircle office nearest you for information on the next training session.

After I complete the training, when will I receive a child?

Parents must first have a home study. An enCircle services worker will visit your home and interview you and your family. This is an in-depth process that determines if treatment foster care is a good fit for you.

How long does it take?

The process of becoming a treatment foster parent varies for each person and can take between four and six months. Some of this depends upon your readiness to become a foster parent. 

How do I get started?

If you're interested in learning more about becoming a treatment foster parent, please email

How to Support Foster Families

While not everyone can become a foster parent, everyone can help children and youth in foster care. Your gift to enCircle ensures our dedicated foster families have the resources they need to build caring relationships with children who have experienced many challenges and need extra support.