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Treatment Foster Care for Behavioral and Emotional Needs

Treatment care is for children and youth with emotional, social, and behavioral needs which cannot be met in their homes, schools, and community environments. There are any number of challenges with developmental disabilities and other mental health issues.

Children in treatment foster care also may be experiencing issues related to child abuse, neglect, or have juvenile offenses. Services are available to youth and children under age 18 of either gender whose treatment needs can be met in a foster home setting. Services include:

  • Education or special education services
  • Vocational services
  • Medical and health services
  • Counseling and therapy services
  • Transition planning
  • Treatment planning
  • Supervision of foster home and foster childrenĀ 
  • Involvement with children's birth family or legal guardian
  • Permanency planning
  • 24-Hour on-call services

Experience, training and support are key to executing the best plan for care. LSS cares very much for the children and families we serve. But that is not enough. We establish evidence-based treatment programs and approach every case as an individual.


If you saw Lisa at a ball game, you would think she was a typical teen. She is good at basketball and writes poetry. Her hopes and dreams are similar to other girls her age--seeking higher education, starting a family and choosing a career path.

Although Lisa has a promising future, the struggles have been long, incomprehensible and undeserved. She found the strength and determination to overcome alcohol abuse, chemical dependency and thoughts of suicide.

Lisa is in LSS Treatment Foster Care. She was referred to LSS from the Department of Social Services. The scars of abuse and neglect she experienced at an early age were not visible to the eye. Her birth dad is serving a long-term jail sentence. Her birth mother is an alcoholic and disappeared for weeks and sometimes months at a time, leaving Lisa to care for herself.

"Since she (her mom) wasn't home, I would start running away. Then I got locked up. I guess my mom decided she didn't want me anymore," she said. "I didn't have a place to go to."

"I'm glad LSS was there. I'm not sure where Lisa would have gone." said the LSS social worker. "Lisa can experience the benefits, comfort, and nurturing of being included in a family and community."

Lisa agreed; she likes her life with her foster family. "I'm not going to let my past get to me anymore. I can not do anything about it anyway. I'm ready to move on."

"It is nice to care for a young person who is so motivated," said the director of Foster Care. "I'm confident Lisa will go on and have success in her life."

"Some children have had to deal with a tremendous amount of abuse and neglect and they are not as resilient as they need to be. Lisa is resilient. I get the feeling she will have peace in her life."

Because of the LSS Foster Care Program, Lisa has the benefits of a good home, developing a sense of belonging and love-all of which will help her become a stronger individual. Lisa now has a better chance of fulfilling her hopes and dreams.

A disability, neglect or other mental or physical health condition does not have to ruin a life. Live the life you desire for yourself or your child. Talk to us.

If you are interested in becoming a foster family for the SD Department of Social Services, please see LSS Resource Family Services.