Walden Family Services, a Southern California-based nonprofit foster care, adoption and transition-age youth housing agency, is among the first agencies licensed by California to implement Intensive Services Foster Care (ISFC) throughout Southern California. ISFC is a program model that allows foster children with complex medical, therapeutic or behavioral needs to remain in a home-based setting for care.
“This designation recognizes Walden’s strengths in Identifying, recruiting, training, supporting and supervising ISFC resource families with the resilience and knowledge to help our most vulnerable children,” said Teresa Stivers, CEO of Walden Family Services. “With California reforms in motion emphasizing home placements over group-home or institutional assignments, Walden’s role as an ISFC-approved agency will become more vital.”
Walden has worked with medically fragile children since 2001, placing high-need children in foster and adoptive homes as an alternative to institutional or hospital settings. Such placements allow children and youth to experience the normal familial bonds and one-on-one care that only a parent can give.
ISFC foster parents must undergo rigorous child-specific training in order to care for their foster children, as individualized care protocols and nursing supervision become part of their daily lives. These foster parents also receive focused in-home support and intensive case management by social work staff—such as Walden’s—who are trained and educated to high IFSC standards.
Walden specifically recruits families who are willing and able to take on the difficult task of caring for a child with a serious medical problem—ranging from life-threatening diseases like HIV and leukemia, failure-to-thrive and shaken baby syndrome, complications of in-utero drug exposure and severe injuries such as burns or
broken bones. ISFC children are often disabled and may require specialized medical equipment such as feeding tubes, apnea monitors or pacemakers, and in most cases, need many follow-up medical appointments.
Children who have experienced significant trauma may exhibit behavioral issues that require therapy and parents who are thoroughly educated and equipped to cope. More information about Walden’s services can be found at www.waldenfamily.org.
About Walden Family Services:
Walden Family Services provides foster care and adoption services for children and families throughout Southern California. Founded in 1976, Walden is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that addresses the unique needs of all children who are neglected and abused, including those who are medically fragile, have developmental disabilities and behavioral or mental health challenges as well as those who are in sibling groups or LGBTQ. The organization also provides transitional housing and programs for youth who have aged out of the foster care system, family visitation centers and parenting programs that focus on stopping the cycle of child abuse. For more information, visit www.waldenfamily.org.