For the first time in Australia, Treatment Foster Care Oregon (TFCO) – an evidence-based, internationally successful program is providing an alternative to residential care and getting kids with problem behaviours back to a stable, family life.
Foster carers in TFCO are given specialist training and are closely guided and supervised by a professional team as they help a foster child for the six – nine month program.
One such carer shared her journey to becoming a carer to Ethan.
“When I met Ethan, he rarely attended school and had a history of antisocial behaviour. He’d reached a critical point. Either he started making different choices or he could lose his future to a life of crime. I wanted to help him, so I volunteered to be a TFCO Carer. TFCO is a specialised fostering program where people like me carer for people like Ethan for 6 to 9 months. The aim is to reunite them with their own family at the end, or prepare them for a stable life with a permanent foster family.
It was daunting, but I wasn’t alone. I had a team of highly qualified specialists guiding me. The Team Leader and School Specialist realised mainstream schools couldn’t meet Ethan’s needs so we enrolled him in a specialist school instead. In just one month he was attending full time. His absences completely stopped. We worked hard at supporting his studies and I’ll never forget how proud I felt when he passed the majority of his exams.
As Ethan’s self-esteem grew, he joined in a range of community sports and activities.He was a new person. For the first time in his life, he experienced hope. Ethan is now back living with his family and is going to school. I look forward to being part of his life going forward.
TFCO saved him.
Playing my part was the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.”