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Therapeutic Foster Care

For children and youth who’ve experienced traumatic events, a special kind of care is required to help them heal.


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What You Need To Know

Today in Denver, many of these young people live in group homes or residential treatment facilities where they receive the behavioral support they need to stabilize from trauma. While this type of environment is helpful for many, research has shown that a secure, family-like environment coupled with clinical support and therapy also creates a positive pathway to healing and permanent placement.

Knowing each child has unique needs, the Therapeutic Foster Care program offers a different entry point to care that pairs high-needs youth with adults with the capability and understanding to foster them toward healing.

You can be the stepping stone a child needs along that journey.

Therapeutic foster care is a distinct, powerful, and unique model of care that combines a nurturing family environment with active therapy and treatment. Children with emotional, behavioral, and medical issues are treated with integrated services and key interventions from foster parents who are trained, supervised, and supported.

Therapeutic foster parents have access to 24/7 clinical support and meet with a dedicated clinician weekly to effectively deliver individualized treatment to each child. Monetary reimbursement is provided at a rate equivalent to the services provided.

While anyone who meets certain requirements (see below) can be a therapeutic foster parent, Denver is recruiting professionals who have acquired specialized skills and training throughout their careers. These individuals are ideal for providing a stable home for young people who are ready to transition from residential treatment to in-home placement. These professionals include:

  • Nurses
  • Social workers
  • Counselors
  • Teachers
  • Others who have worked in the education, medical, or counseling fields

As a therapeutic foster parent, you will use your skills in a new way by serving as a critical stepping stone for young people as they journey from past trauma toward permanent placements.

In order to be considered as a therapeutic foster care provider, the following criteria must be met:

  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident living within a one-hour drive from the Denver metro area
  • Complete 40 hours of pre-certification training with the Pressley Ridge therapeutic foster care program (provided free of charge by Denver Human Services) and 32 hours of ongoing training each year
  • Demonstrate willingness to implement treatment plans and follow program philosophy
  • Demonstrate emotional and financial stability (individually and as a family)
  • Have reliable back-up care (respite provider)
  • Be able to submit medical evaluations for all people living in the home
  • Have a strong network of social support
  • At least one parent can communicate effectively in the child’s primary language
  • Accept and include the child
  • Have a positive attitude, sense of humor, flexibility, and tolerance

Denver Human Services partnered with the Foster Care Coalition to develop the Therapeutic Foster Care pilot program in Colorado. 

Together, with the help of other clinical partners, the Foster Care Coalition hopes to unite foster parents with training and support to heal children suffering from trauma. Our coalition support network includes:


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Get started by attending one of our Foster Care Informational Meetings.


Get Started »

For more information on becoming a therapeutic foster parent, call 720-944-4DHS (4347) or email

You can also join us for an upcoming informational meeting.



We all play a role in keeping children safe. To report suspected child abuse or neglect, call 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1-844-264-5437).


Become a Foster Parent

Be the difference in the life of a Denver child or youth in need of a temporary, safe, caring home.


Adult Protection Hotline

Report suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of older or at-risk adults by calling 720-944-4DHS (4347).



Main Office, Richard T. Castro Human Services Center
1200 Federal Blvd.
Denver, CO 80204


Customer Service

720-944-4DHS (4347)

If you need Colorado Relay/TTY services in Denver, please call 711. If you need Spanish-language relay services, please call 800-337-3242.


City Assistance

Call 3-1-1

Outside Denver: 720-913-1311
Emergencies: 911
TTY Service: 720-913-8479





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