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Mandated Report on Therapeutic Foster Care

The term therapeutic foster care generally refers to the practice of serving children and youth who have serious emotional, behavioral, mental health, intellectual or developmental disabilities, or medical conditions in a family-based setting, rather than in an institutional or group setting. However, because federal Medicaid statutes and regulations do not currently provide a uniform definition of the services that comprise therapeutic foster care, states vary in covering these services.

Chapter 4 responds to a request by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations, that the Commission analyze whether a uniform definition of therapeutic foster care could improve care and treatment for the vulnerable children and youth who require these services. The Commission’s analysis finds that a uniform definition is not likely to achieve this goal and may also create unintended negative consequences. It recommends instead that the Secretary provide guidance to states on how to cover therapeutic foster care, and how to coordinate services across agencies.

From: June 2019 Report to Congress on Medicaid and CHIP