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Specialized Foster Care Program

“There’s a fit for everyone – whether it’s committing to full-time foster parenting; providing a few respite hours per week; or even sponsoring a foster care event. All you need is a heart for helping kids!” — Joanne Rae, Former Foster Care Case Specialist

Foster homes are vital for children that need a safe and structured, kind and respectful, loving place to live. Children are placed in foster care due to abuse, neglect or abandonment. Foster parents support the child in many ways; through tending to their well-being and educational needs, through supporting them to fulfill the wishes they have for their lives, through providing opportunities for the youth to understand themselves and supporting healthy, meaningful relationships. The initial goal for all youth is to return to their biological parents. If this is not possible, a family is sought for the youth to live with permanently. Our professional staff are trained in the REStArT model and work collaboratively with each client to achieve their personal goals.

Who is a good fit for becoming a Specialized Foster Parent?

Foster parents come from all cultures and walks of life, are at least 21 years of age, are financially stable, and are able to pass a background check. Foster parents should be open to learn how to work with children who have experienced adverse life situations and to be able to help the child maintain healthy family ties. A commitment to participate in training and also to applying training concepts as part of a treatment team is essential.

What kind of support is provided by Allendale for Foster Parents?

  • Specialized trauma training based on Allendale’s REStArTSM model, as well as training in other topics relevant to youth with special needs
  • Clinical consultation conferences with the treatment team and quarterly Child and Family Team Meetings
  • In home weekly caseworker visits
  • Identification of support services for the youth such as therapy, psychiatry, and mentoring
  • 24/7 on-call crisis intervention assistance

Did You Know?

  • Our Allendale foster care staff guide and support people interested in becoming a licensed foster parent throughout the entire licensing application process that may take 6-9 months to complete.
  • Infants and young children are not the only ones in need of a loving foster home. Allendale’s foster care program specializes in working alongside foster families to provide a caring and structured home environment where adolescents can feel safe and supported leading to the achievement of their goals and ultimate independence.
  • 22 youth achieved permanency this past year. This reflects a total average of 40% of the families served by Allendale, exceeding the DCFS targeted benchmark.

How can I get more information about Allendale’s Specialized Foster Care Program?

Contact our Specialized Foster Care Department at 847-356-3322 or email

Other helpful resources:
Specialized Foster Care Brochure
Benefits, Myths & Facts
Fast Facts Brochure
Frequently Asked Questions
Foster Care Law Implementation Plan
Member of Family Focused Treatment Association