Therapeutic foster care serves Md.'s neediest, most disabled youth

I was gratified to read your article on the strides Maryland has made toward reducing the number of children in foster care ("Nothing matters more … than a place to call home," Dec. 26).

Every child deserves a lifelong family, no matter their background or needs. Therapeutic foster care has been part of Maryland's child welfare system since 1986, and it serves some of the state's neediest and most disabled youth.

We are able to do so at a fraction of the cost of group care, and when we achieve permanency for youth who historically have been less likely to be adopted or reunified with their birth families, we save the state tens of thousands of dollars a year while giving children with special needs "forever families."

Providers who are members of the Foster Family-based Treatment Association Maryland Chapter are committed to working in collaboration with the state and with each other to provide homes to all youth who need them. At times, this will require a rethinking of what services are needed and the creativity to develop and fund them. But our goal of permanency for all is worth it.

Robert Basler, Bel Air

The writer chairs the Foster Family-based Treatment Association Maryland Chapter.

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