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

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 the trauma they have endured. While this type of environment is helpful for many, research has shown that a stable, family-like environment coupled with access to clinical support and therapy also creates a positive pathway to healing and permanent placement.

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

You can be the stepping stone a child needs along their 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

In this role, you will use your skills in a new way by serving as a foster parent, a critical stepping stone for a young person who has experienced significant trauma. Your specialized skills coupled with the additional resources provided through this program will ensure the foster children you are paired with are cared for as they heal from past trauma and are supported along their journey toward a permanent placement.

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 DHS) and 32 hours of ongoing training each year
  • Demonstrate commitment to the program and children with 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 must be able to demonstrate effective communication in the language of the child
  • Show acceptance and inclusion of the child
  • Have a positive attitude, sense of humor, flexibility, and tolerance

Next Steps

For other questions or more information on becoming a therapeutic foster parent, contact 720-944-4000 or

You can also join us for an upcoming informational meeting (see dates and times below).

Informational Meetings

Denver Human Service -- Richard T. Castro Center
1200 Federal Blvd.
Denver, CO 80204

Nov. 14 (Wed), 6 p.m.
Dec. 12 (Wed), 6 p.m.
Jan. 9, 2019 (Wed), 6 p.m.
Feb. 13, 2019 (Wed), 6 p.m.
Mar. 13, 2019 (Wed), 6 p.m.
Apr. 10, 2019 (Wed), 6 p.m.
May 8, 2019 (Wed), 6 p.m.
June 12, 2019 (Wed), 6 p.m.
July 10, 2019 (Wed), 6 p.m.
Aug. 14, 2019 (Wed), 6 p.m.
Sept. 11, 2019 (Wed), 6 p.m.
Oct. 9, 2019 (Wed), 6 p.m.
Nov. 13, 2019 (Wed), 6 p.m.
Dec. 11, 2019 (Wed), 6 p.m.

Denver Human Services -- Montbello Recreation Center
15555 E. 53rd Ave.
Denver, CO 80239

Jan. 23, 2019 (Wed), 6 p.m.
Feb. 27, 2019 (Wed), 6 p.m.
Mar. 27, 2019 (Wed), 6 p.m.
Apr. 24, 2019 (Wed), 6 p.m.
May 22, 2019 (Wed), 6 p.m.
June 26, 2019 (Wed), 6 p.m.
July 24, 2019 (Wed), 6 p.m.
Sept. 25, 2019 (Wed), 6 p.m.
Oct. 23, 2019 (Wed), 6 p.m.

Ariel Clinical Services
2440 Wadsworth Blvd.
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033

Nov. 14 (Wed), 2 p.m.
Nov. 15 (Thu), 6 p.m.
Dec. 5 (Wed), 2 p.m.
Dec. 6 (Thu), 6 p.m.


About the Foster Care Coalition

Denver Human Services and Ariel Clinical Services are lead partners in developing the Therapeutic Foster Care pilot program in Colorado. Ariel Clinical Services is an agency that thinks creatively to meet the needs of children and teens within the child welfare system, so they can live and thrive in their communities. Both DHS and Ariel offer the required trainings to equip individuals and couples with the tools to be successful foster parents.

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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Foster Care Informational Meetings


Contact us at:
(720) 944-4000

Kinship Care Information Line: 
(720) 944-4546

Kinship-Specific Training: 
(720) 944-6197 or (720) 944-6187

Child Support Services: 
(720) 944-2960

Report Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect:
1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1-844-264-5437)



Denver 311 Help Center
Call 3-1-1
Outside Denver Call (720)913-1311
Emergencies: 911 
TTY Service: 720-913-8479