Foster Care

Despite tremendous efforts, many foster care agencies lack the capacity to effectively intervene, treat, and transition children in foster care ages five and up with complex behavioral challenges to permanent families. Spence-Chapin is committed to using our vast experience and proven approach to help children living in foster care with the most complex needs to transition and remain in permanent families. Spence-Chapin provides comprehensive, evidence-based therapy and case-management for the most complex cases.

Our Program

  • Support to Transition Children in Foster Care to Permanent Families:  Our licensed clinicians build customized interventions and work closely with children, their foster families and siblings, doctors, teachers and schools to build a network of support and consistent, effective care based on the child’s needs. We provide one-on-one counseling and support to children and their foster parents at a critical time as they consider adoption.
  • Caseworker Capacity-Building: We train staff on navigating open adoptions, conditional surrenders, common diagnoses, engagement skills, the effects of trauma throughout the developmental stages, typical childhood development and permanency planning.  We provide full-day trainings for case workers on topics like: Safety & Risk, Assessment and Diagnosis, Child Welfare History, The Families and Populations We Work With, and the Roles as Case Planners During Home Visits 
  • Crisis Intervention Counseling for Families Post Adoption: Spence-Chapin social workers and mental health providers deliver adoption focused services to post-adoptive families.


  • We currently help over 300 children across NYC and are seeking to expand the program to additional agencies to support a greater number of children and families.
  • Our work is focused on helping children be adopted into their foster families, ultimately creating a sense of permanency and a foundation for good health and lifelong success.  

Incremental Funding Needs

Additional funding will enable us to reach a greater number of children in foster care and their foster families at a critical time.  

1.  Clinicians

  • Expand the program’s work to additional foster care agencies 
  • Provide counseling to more families who are finding themselves in crisis and who are considering giving their child back to the foster care system. 

2. Materials 

  • Develop and distribute updated printed materials (e.g. Resource Packets on topics such as Older Child Adoption, Bonding & Attachment, Trauma & the Brain) to foster and pre-adoptive parents that are suited to their cultural backgrounds and unique challenges. All materials would be bi-lingual (English and Spanish).
  • Create a video to train parents
    • Play therapy games & materials such as crayons, pencils, books and therapeutic games