Assessment Foster Homes

Assessment Foster Homes provide supervision and support to children who display a wide range of behaviors and may require an additional period of observation and assessment to effectively determine the most appropriate service level and placement setting to meet their needs. Children referred may have varied assessment needs. Presenting problems may include substance abuse, delinquent behavior or charges, and runaway behavior. Children may have mood or anxiety problems, interpersonal difficulties, emotional dysregulation, difficulty in securing and maintaining close relationships with others, truancy, and/or difficulty in accepting authority.

Children/youth appropriate for referral:

  • Are unable to receive the parental care they need in their own home.
  • Appear to be capable of placement in a family setting without posing a danger to themselves or others. Children/youth experiencing active suicidal or homicidal ideations must be assessed through Mobile Crisis and determined to not be in need of acute care.
  • May have current emotional or behavioral symptoms which are transiently moderate in nature.
  • Children must be adjudicated D/N, Unruly or Delinquent. *For information about youth adjudicated delinquent in foster care, refer to DCS Policy 16.46 Child/Youth Referral and Placement.
  • Assessment home referrals will be prioritized by Network Development and tracked on the M drive utilizing the tracking log.

*Full disclosure of children’s known current and past behaviors, trauma, involvement with the department will be discussed with assessment foster parents prior to placement occurring.

  • The assessment foster home is a trauma-informed structured environment. 
  • Requires continuous adult supervison.
  • Foster parent is provided with full disclosure of child's needs.
  • Works with theraptist to conduct needs assessment within 24-48 hours of placement.
  • Foster parent will receive ongoing support through home visits from their assigned Foster Parent Support Worker (FSW) and monthly in-home coaching provided by an in-home therapist. The FSW will have weekly contact with the in-home therapist.
  • DCS and foster parent coordinate scheduling and transportation to medical and mental health intake and follow-up appointments.
  • Educational needs of the child/youth are coordinated by the team in consultation with the Education Specialist.
  • Length of stay in assessment home is expected to be up to 14 days but should not exceed 30 days.
  • Individualized safety plan is developed for each child.
  • Regional after hours on-call procedures for the region in which the home is located will be available.
  • At time of placement, staff accompanying child/youth to placement will provide foster parent(s) with phone numbers for Mobile Crisis Services.
  • Foster Parents are provided information regarding other assessment homes in their region as an option for support.
  • Required to be in approved status as well as compliant with all requirements as outlined in Policy 16.4.
  • Complete additional training and participate in in-home coaching.
  • Assessment home families may serve as placement for no more than two (2) foster children/ youth at a time, which may be either one traditional foster placement plus an assessment placement or two assessment placements. For homes that have adoptive/biological children, total capacity may not exceed a total of 6 children. Assessment homes are limited to placement of no more than one youth requiring assessment if they are deemed high risk for Sexual Aggression or Danger to Others. 

Training requirements will consist of the following:

  • Completion of TN KEY Pre-Service Training
  • Completion of Assessment Home Overview online course
  • Participation in a minimum of one in-home coaching session per month when there is a current placement, OR participation in quarterly coaching when there is not a placement

More information coming soon!

Training Opportunities

Beyond ACEs - Using Brain Science to Understand the Impact of Stress and Trauma on Children and Youth
Wednesday, March 30, 2022
11:00am-12:00pm Central/12:00pm-1:00pm Eastern

Moving Trauma Responsive Care from the Clinic to the Community
Thursday, April 28, 2022
11:00am-12:00pm Central/12:00pm-1:00pm Eastern

Being a Trauma Responsive Faith Community
Thursday, May 26, 2022
11:00am-12:00pm Central/12:00pm-1:00pm Eastern

Community Trauma and Resilience
Thursday, June 30, 2022
11:00am-12:00pm Central/12:00pm-1:00pm Eastern

Visit Harmony Family Center's website to learn more


More information coming soon!