Therapeutic Foster Care
Become a foster parent!

The Helen Ross McNabb Center’s Therapeutic Foster Care Program serves children and teens who are in state’s custody due to abuse or neglect and who have behavioral or emotional problems.  These children need a more specialized type of care than what they can find in regular foster homes. 

The purpose of therapeutic foster care is to re-educate and re-socialize each child so that he or she may go on to live successfully within the community.  Therapeutic Foster Parents help these special children to meet specified goals in the process with help of a network of support.

Helen Ross McNabb Center’s Therapeutic Foster Care Program began in 1992.  Since then, the program has grown to cover the majority of East Tennessee.

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Expectation of Foster Parents

It is expected that all foster parents provide a therapeutic environment for the children who are in their care. They must learn to work with the individual needs of each child and help them reach their individual goals. It is expected that all foster parents become an active role in the child's life (school, court, visits, etc.) Foster parents must help transport their foster children to and from their appointments, be active in the child's therapy and follow all therapist recommendations.


To be a qualified therapeutic foster parent each adult in the home must complete 6 weeks of PATH/Therapeutic Training (6 hours/week) and pass the home study process. CPR, First Aid, and Medication Management are included in the 6 week training process. Following the initial year of training, it is required that a foster parent complete 15 hours of training annually. The Helen Ross McNabb Center provides a variety of trainings throughout the year to help foster parents complete the required hours of training. 

What the Program Provides

Each child will have a Helen Ross McNabb center foster care specialist who is a trained case manager with a Bachelor's or Master's degree in the field of children and families.  The specialist will help the foster family with disciplinary interventions if the children exhibit any behavioral issues. Helen Ross McNabb Center also provides 24/7 emergency on-call support. 


Helen Ross McNabb Center provides a financial reimbursement for each day a child is in your home. This reimbursement is to provide financial support for the extra expenses that will arise from fostering a child (transportation, food, extracurricular activities, etc.) This amount of reimbursement is dependent of the level of the child's placement. 

Contact Information

Resource Parent Coordinator
(865) 544-5000, ext. 1356

(865) 544-5070

Area Served
East Tennessee Region