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Foster Care

For children and youth needing longer term placements than the Childhaven Shelter will allow, there are two levels of Foster Care: Treatment and Regular Foster Care. By offering both levels of service, Childhaven assures the children have access to the appropriate level of care.

Annually, Childhaven provides 20 children with over 6,000 nights of care in Foster Care.

Foster Care Philosophy
Childhaven’s Treatment Foster Care program serves children, ages 3-17 who are experiencing severe emotional disturbances.  The program philosophy is to provide client centered practice, utilizing a Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy approach to assist in the healing process. The Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy modality is client and family centered as it teaches both the client and the parent recovery and resiliency skills. Children are taught new skills to cope with their traumatic experiences, to include emotion regulation, stress management, personal safety, and coping with future traumatic events. Parents are taught how to encourage the use of these skills in their children, as well as parenting skills. 


Learn about becoming a foster parent.

Regular Foster Care
Regular Foster Care is for children who have been removed from their home for an extended period of time to ensure their safety and well being. Foster care families are licensed through the State of New Mexico’s Children, Youth and Families Department. Families are screened and trained through Childhaven, and each family must meet both agency and state requirements. Regular foster parents are required to attend 28 hours of pre-service training and annually receive a minimum of 12 hours of continuing education on such topics as positive discipline techniques, managing aggressive behaviors, nurturing, child development, praise and choosing appropriate consequences.

Regular Foster Care parents may work outside the home. As a foster family, you will be part of a team working toward the positive growth and development of a child at a difficult time in their life, as well as help the child transition into their permanent living arrangement.

Childhaven’s goal is to ensure that placements are well matched, successful, and rewarding experiences for both the children and the families with whom the children are placed. Childhaven places children of all ages in foster care. Foster Parents may specify their area of expertise.

Beome a foster parent! Learn more.


Treatment Foster Care
Treatment Foster Care is a unique approach to caring for children with severe emotional disturbance. These children flourish in a structured home environment. Children in Treatment Foster Care come from residential treatment centers, failed foster homes, or unsafe home environments.

Treatment foster parents are part of the treatment team. This team is comprised of the treatment coordinator, social worker, therapist, child’s attorney, and the biological parent(s), among others.

In addition to all of the requirements for Regular Foster Care, Treatment foster parents are required to have experience with SED children and receive extensive training in order to prepare the family to participate in the child’s treatment process and to transition the child into their permanent living arrangement. Training encompasses 40 hours of pre-service training with an additional 24 hours of continuing education annually.

Treatment foster parenting is a full-time job, however, Childhaven can work individually with each family to accommodate the needs of the child(ren) and the family’s work schedule.

Childhaven staff conducts background checks and home studies as part of the foster parent licensing process. Families, couples, and single adults can become foster parents.

Childhaven provides the initial and annual training to assist the foster parents in teaching the children new skills to cope with their traumatic experiences.

Read more about foster parenting here.


Respite Foster Care
Respite Foster Care provides our foster families with childcare for two required consecutive days per month, a day or a few hours as needed. This allows Childhaven foster parents a temporary break from their parenting responsibilities while maintaining a qualified, structured environment for the child(ren).

Being a respite foster care parent is a viable alternative for those individuals or families who cannot commit to a child for an extended period of time. Experience with severe emotionally disturbed children is required; respite parents receive the same pre-service training as regular foster parents. Respite Foster Care requires the foster parents to participate in a minimum of 5 hours of continuing education annually and working closely with the child’s family to meet their needs.








Families, Couples and Single Adults can become Foster Parents