Specialized Foster Care (SFC) is a program designed to support children and adults who need a shared living arrangement to safely live in the community with up to two housemates. SFC is a temporary service but may become a long-term placement. SFC is provided in the home of the foster parent with Oklahoma Human Services oversight. The foster parent is responsible to meet the daily care, medical needs, and provide opportunities for community integration.
While SFC serves individuals aged three and older, the need for SFC homes is greatest for individuals aged 12 and up.
As an SFC parent, you can provide care for 1-3 people at a time, and you are highly involved with the decision to have someone placed in your home. Since caring for an individual with intellectual or developmental needs requires extra time and attention, the SFC program requires one stay-at-home foster parent. The reimbursement rate for SFC is designed to pay you for becoming a ‘professional’ parent. You will also receive support from a DDS case manager, a foster care specialist, as well as any professional providers working with the individual in your home.
Experience with individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities can be helpful but is not required. You will receive training to help prepare you for being an SFC parent, as well as specialized training if an individual placed in your home requires it.
A unique aspect of the SFC program is that care is provided for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities, not just children. This means as an SFC parent, you will have a role in supporting an individual through adulthood, which involves helping the individual become as independent as possible while respecting the individual’s rights as an adult. Serving an adult allows you the opportunity to help and encourage the individual as they seek employment, foster new relationships, and become more involved in their community.
Eligibility and Resources
- Must be 21 years old
- Must have one stay-at-home parent
- Submit information for background checks and fingerprints
- Complete training prior to approval as an SFC parent and yearly training thereafter
- Participate in a home study
- An individual bedroom must be available for each person served through SFC
Oklahoma Human Services also provides many supports to individuals who choose to foster an individual with special needs including:
- Specialized training
- Specialized therapies for the individual
- Mental health supports
- Medical, dental care and supplies covered by Medicaid
- $70 per day reimbursement*
- $570 per month for room and board
*Reimbursement and housing are subject to change depending on needs of the individual
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) is looking for responsible, nurturing adults who are willing to contract with us to be specialized foster parents for individuals with developmental disabilities.
The children and adults in the care of DDS have intellectual disabilities and other developmental or physical disabilities. This means they will need support and care throughout their lives.
Caring for individuals with developmental disabilities is a very important role. At times it is very difficult and demanding. Foster parents are paid by DDS for their services because of the level of commitment that is required on an ongoing basis. Room and board payments are also paid to the foster parent for the individual’s personal care needs. These payments come from their Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The individual’s medical and dental expenses are covered through Medicaid.
Specialized Foster Parents are able to meet individuals needing services before taking them into their home to make sure they are compatible. Several visits routinely take place prior to a decision being made and an individual moving into the foster family’s home.
Foster parents are not expected to carry on this work alone. Our program is based on teamwork between foster parents and DDS case managers. Other professionals may be part of the individual’s service team depending on needs. The team works to reunite the individual with their birth family whenever possible. A Foster Care Specialist will be available to assist you with questions and in the placing of an individual in your home. Local foster parent associations may also provide additional information and support.
Prospective foster parents must complete required training and go through an in-depth home-study process. Most of the training is free, however, there are a few classes that providers attend at their own expense. Training must be completed before a child or adult is placed in the home.
We are looking for caring, nurturing adults, who are either single or married. Experience in caring for others is an asset, but not a requirement. Applicants must have a physical examination and submit financial information. Background checks are obtained from law enforcement agencies on all adult household members before applicants are approved to provide foster care. Applicants may drop out of the home-study process at any point if they feel it is not right for them or any of their family members.
Foster parents are people of different ages, races, income levels and backgrounds. They are people like you—people who care about others and want to make a difference in someone’s life.
Will you consider becoming a specialized foster parent?
Respite services provide a temporary break, rest or relief from full time care for a caregiver of an individual with developmental disabilities. This service can be completed at the individual's home or the home of the respite provider.