Therapeutic Foster Care ProgramSmart 4_Fotor

SMART Child and Family Services’ Therapeutic Foster Care Program is the foundation of the agency. Our goal is to provide a therapeutic, corrective family experience for children who have lived through abuse, neglect, and trauma. Our foster children demonstrate social, emotional, and/or behavioral challenges that require a therapeutic environment in which to heal from their trauma.  Our foster families model healthy relationships and coping skills, and work with community resources to help improve the youth’s functioning and promote their social and emotional well-being.  SMART was founded on the principal that foster parents are professionals and an integral part of the child’s treatment team.

Foster youths are referred to SMART’s therapeutic foster care program by Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services.

Our Referral Process:

Referrals typically include children with emotional and behavioral issues who need a higher level of care than can be provided in a regular foster home environment. Many have experienced significant trauma in their lives. Their needs frequently include medication management, mental health therapy, special education services, and supervised visitation with birth family. After each child’s individual needs are assessed, they are matched with the SMART foster family best suited to provide appropriate care and support. Children in our program range in age from birth to 18+. They may be new to foster care or may have had multiple placements. Their permanency plans may be reunification, kinship care, permanency guardianship, or adoption. The common denominator is that all of our children need a family to provide a safe, nurturing environment in which to heal.

SMART understands the importance of comprehensive support services for foster families. Foster parents and their children can expect a commitment to on-going communication in the following areas:

  • Weekly contact with a SMART caseworker
  • 24 hour support and crisis intervention
  • Professional SMART training opportunities
  • Monthly support groups, held during the day and in the evening for your convenience
  • Networking support from SMART foster parents
  • Caseworker support at DHHS and school meetings
  • SMART Foster Parent forms for downloading online
  • A generous daily tax-free stipend

Foster parent applicants to SMART must meet ALL the requirements set forth in the “Rules Providing For The Licensing Of Specialized Children’s Foster Homes” some of which are outlined below:

  • Applicants must be 21 years of age, and may own or rent their home. They can be single, married or partnered.
  • Must be capable of exercising good judgment in meeting the needs of foster children and not engaged in practices detrimental to the welfare of children.
  • Six months of verifiable work experience with children with emotional and/or behavioral needs or one year as a licensed foster parent.
  • If foster parents work outside of the home, they must be available, or make arrangements for someone to be available if the foster child needs to be home during the day.
  • Endorsement by SMART interview team determining a good fit between the applying foster home and the agency.

SMART will not discriminate on the basis of sex, religion, race, age, nationality, or sexual orientation

Other criteria for foster parents include, but are not limited to:

  • Ability to work collaboratively as part of a team
  • Ability to support a youth’s connections with birth family members
  • Positive Attitude
  • Flexible
  • Able to make a commitment to the children in their care

For more information about our Therapeutic Foster Care Program, please contact Sharon Dadmun.

Outpatient Counseling

Are you feeling anxious, stressed or depressed?
Are you having relationship issues?
Problems in school/behavior issues or issues with family members?

The mission of SMART’s Counseling Program is to assist children, adolescents and adults to better manage internal and external challenges. The program works collaboratively with trained professionals to ensure a comprehensive quality of service to the community.

SMART is licensed by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to provide outpatient mental health services. In November of 2004, SMART began providing community-based counseling services to serve both its foster children and families, as well as persons in the larger community.  SMART offers individual and family therapy to children, adolescents, and adults at our Windham office.

Substance Abuse Treatment

Our treatment philosophies blend some traditional and proven methods along with a harm reduction and humanistic approach. We believe addictions/abuse affects both the whole person and those close to them. It is a true family/community and societal dis-ease. It needs to be addressed and treated as such from all of those perspectives to be more fully effective. Substance Abuse/Misuse is often associated with trauma as well and, can leave in its’ wake, a good deal of pain and suffering. Perhaps, sometimes, it is the hurt and past that can lead to the misuse/abuse. We therefore utilize a holistic and multi-tiered approach. Involving a “family systems” method, when appropriate, we will work tirelessly to both empower and encourage each affected person out of the confines and challenges presented by abuse/addiction. Addictions/Abuse is a physical, emotional and spiritual condition that can cripple both the individual and those close to her/him. It is critical we work with you on all aspects and levels where this condition affects you.

Current Services include:

  • Intensive Outpatient servie in Biddeford and Windham
  • Services and Supports for “Affected Other”
  • Drug Testing
  • Opioid Specific Treatments, including assessment and treatment including the us of Suboxone as a bridge to help those struggling with opioid abuse/dependence including prescription drug abuse/addiction.
  • Tobacco Assessment and Treatment (Cessation).
  • Comprehensive Substance Abuse, Mental Health (co-occuring) assessments/evaluations
  • Individual, couple,and family Substance Abuse/Mental Health Counseling/Therapy/Treatment/Work around addictions.
  • Family Education/Support Groups/Services

Our Substance Abuse Treatment staff are dynamic, highly experienced, and professionally trained.

This department is supported by Dr. Richard Entel, MD, MD FASAM  and Dr. James Berry, MD.

Home and Community Based Treatment:

SMART’s HCT program has an array of offered services.  We have highly qualified clinicians and Behavioral Health Professionals who provide in-home support and counseling to families of children with mental/behavioral health needs. The children served by this program have recently returned from, or are at risk of, out-of-home care and are in need of additional support in order to successfully remain in their home and community.

Children’s Targeted Case Management:

Serving families with children who are experiencing mental health and/or behavioral challenges, this program provides support, advocacy, and coordination of services within the home and community. Children must have a mental health diagnosis and receive MaineCare in order to participate in this program.

Medication Management:

SMART has a psychiatrist available to prescribe and monitor medication for clients in our Substance Abuse and Outpatient Counseling Programs.

Mental Health Services: For more information about any of our Mental Health Services, please contact our Referral specialist at extension 121.