Camelot Care Centers offers community-based family therapeutic foster care and behavioral health services throughout the state of Tennessee. There are over 8,000 children currently in Tennessee’s foster care system, and Camelot works with the Department of Children’s Services to place some of these children in loving and supportive foster homes while they wait to see if they will go home.
THE CRITICAL ROLE OF FOSTER PARENTS
Involuntary separation of a child from their parent is a terrifying prospect for both the child and parents involved. The child may struggle to understand what is happening to them and why. Both parents and children will be anxious and concerned about the future. Foster parents have the opportunity to bridge the gap and help children who have been removed from their homes. This ensures they are safe as they prepare for whatever comes next—be that safe reunification with their original family or a loving adoptive home.
WHAT MAKES A CAMELOT THERAPEUTIC FOSTER HOMES DIFFERENT THAN ANY OTHER FOSTER HOME?
Families that engage in therapeutic foster care through Camelot will receive even more support than foster families that work only with the Department of Children’s Services. However, before they can open their homes, all foster families have to complete a home study, background check, and a specific training called TN-KEY, which stands for “Knowledge Empowers You.” In addition to these basic requirements, Camelot’s foster families receive additional and ongoing training to help them navigate the challenges associated with parenting children who have experienced trauma.
Camelot also has its own team of highly skilled therapists who assist in getting children in foster care the intensive therapy they often require. Depending on the child’s needs, these therapists are sometimes available to meet with children in the foster home to provide Comprehensive Child and Family Treatment services. Finally, Camelot also offers its families access to 24-hour support staff to help them navigate any unexpected challenges that come up outside of regular business hours.
HOW TO KNOW IF YOU’RE READY TO FOSTER: WHAT CAMELOT WANTS YOU TO KNOW.
Good foster families are always in high demand. They provide an invaluable service in protecting children. Therefore, the consequences for not having enough of them can be dire for a child in desperate need of a safe place to stay. If you have room in your home, schedule, and heart to care for one or more foster children, there are few things you could do that would be more important or fulfilling. Last week, I met with Susan Sharp, who does community outreach with Camelot, and asked her what she wanted potential foster parents to know as they think about opening their homes. She told me, “Prospective foster families need to know that foster care is hard, but doable—and completely worth it.”
HOW TO BEGIN THE PROCESS OF BECOMING A FOSTER PARENT
If you’d like to learn more about the general requirements to be a foster (and/or adoptive) parent in Tennessee: click here. Or, if you’d like to get in touch with Camelot Care Centers about fostering children through their organization, call (865) 272-0013 or submit an inquiry via their website here. ~~ Chelsea Price
Held Law Firm can help if you need help with the legal aspects of adopting or foster care. Please give us a call at (865) 685-4780.