Adaptive Care Experience – Therapeutic Foster Care

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The Adaptive Care Experience (ACE) program provides a safe and therapeutic family environment for youth who have been given the diagnosis of an Intellectual Disorder (ID), Developmental Disorder (DD), or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and are unable to live in their parents’ home or be managed at a lower level of foster care due to their exceptional needs.

About this Program

Adaptive Care Experience—Therapeutic Foster Care (ACE TFC) leverages Hillside’s decades of TFC services and combines it with our highly-specialized expertise in the provision of services for youth diagnosed with a ID, DD or ASD often present with an extremely complex set of behaviors which can introduce very unique challenges into the TFC system. These children often exceed the needs of those currently recognized as exceptional youth. Our family-driven approach, trauma-informed services, and evidence-based practice ensure the stability and level of nuanced care necessary for the successful delivery of TFC services to youth with an ID, DD or ASD.

Hillside’s TFC program provides for client safety, permanency, and well-being through effective treatment and transition planning which builds on the child and family’s strengths. TFC works to reunify youth with their own family, or, when this is not possible, to secure an adoptive family and identify permanent adult resources for every youth. Hillside’s TFC services utilize an interdisciplinary approach to treatment, providing trauma-informed interventions and supports to the child, the birth family, and the foster/adoptive family.

Hillside’s traditional TFC program serves as the underlying structure for ACE TFC. These core components include: foster family care, case management, permanency planning, and coordination of medical care, skill building, and educational planning. An additional overlay of specialized training and supports includes the following:

  • ID, DD or ASD expertise and support through our traditional, trauma-informed core TFC model with overlays of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), a leading scientific model used in the successful provision of care to children/youth with ID, DD or ASD. This includes the services of a Behavioral Analyst dedicated to the ACE TFC program.
  • Specialized recruitment and training of a core group of Foster Parents who are interested in and able to meet the unique needs of this very special population.
  • Specialized, trauma-informed, ID, DD or ASD-focused training and coaching for foster parents and birth parents; along with ongoing monitoring by specially trained Hillside Foster Family Specialists.
  • The added benefit of Hillside’s ACE-TFC Consultation Team which operates outside of the TFC chain of command but has significant clinical knowledge and field experience. The consultation function informs critical decisions and problem-solving for the program.
  • A higher staff-to-client ratio, designed to ensure the specialized level of care necessary for the ongoing provision of safe and stable services.
  • Access to 24/7 Service Integration support for foster parents, youth, and birth parents to help address “in the moment” crisis needs, including appropriate deployment of in-home treatment technology resources.
  • A coordinated care approach that partners with all stakeholders in the youth’s life in order to create a roadmap of success which takes into account the unique needs of each youth.
  • Case management and permanency planning by HCC Care Coordinators.
  • Individual and family counseling by Hillside staff and/or other community service provider(s).
  • Supervision and skillbuilding from Hillside staff.
  • Educational support and access to community schools by a dedicated Education Specialist.
  • Pediatric and mental health services are provided by local physicians and mental health providers with medical case management and oversight provided by a Hillside Registered Nurse. An agency RN is on call 24/7 to ensure the medical needs of the youth are attended to in a timely manner. We work to maintain primary medical care with established providers who know the individual needs of each child.
  • Visitation (including supervision of visits if required by court order).
  • Transportation to appointments and visitation as needed.

Individualized discharge criteria to a permanent resource will differ per child due to permanency planning, family functioning and goals, court orders and the needs of the child. Discharge planning begins at admission and is updated as needed based on family needs.


Youth ages 4 through 21 years

This program is open to eligible residents of Monroe County. Referrals must be made directly by Monroe County


Rochester Office
1 Mustard Street
Rochester, NY 14609

Contact Information

For details about this or any Hillside program, contact us 24 hours a day at 585-256-7500 or info@hillside.com

This Program Supported by Monroe County.

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