Intensive Foster Care

Intensive Foster Care (IFC) is a specialized program for youth who cannot reside with their families at this time as the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) has determined that they require out-of-home placement. The age of these youth ranges from infants to 22 years old. They are determined to need more support from their foster family because they were born addicted or exposed to substances, have experienced abuse and/or neglect, have complex medical needs or are demonstrating emotional or behavioral challenges.

The Intensive Foster Care program trains and supports foster parents to provide a safe, loving and therapeutic home to help youth heal from their difficult experiences.

There is a need for foster parents who can care for youth of all ages with a variety of needs and families are carefully matched with youth with whom they feel they can provide maximum support. Youth referred to the IFC program are infants, sibling groups, school-age youth, teenagers and young adults, pregnant and parenting teens and refugees. 

You can read more about the work our Intensive Foster Care program does on our blog!

CFCS is constantly recruiting new families to serve the youth in foster care. In order to qualify for eligibility, CFCS foster parents:

  • Are age 25 or older

  • Have physical space for a child

  • Have stable housing and finances

  • Are physically and emotionally able to care for a child with challenging behaviors

  • Are available to meet with the child’s CFCS social worker weekly in your home during business hours

  • Are able to be a supportive member of the child’s team, including advocating for a child’s needs, attending school meetings and attending quarterly treatment meetings

  • Complete a thorough background check including review of criminal history, DCF history and fingerprinting  

To foster a child with CFCS, you DO NOT need to:

  • Be married or in a relationship

  • Own a home

  • Live by yourself/without roommates

  • Be debt-free

If you’re interested in becoming a foster parent, email our Family Services department at or call us at 617-876-4210.

Ortiz kids in kitchen.PNG

Learn more about our ifc services


WHY foster with CFCS?

Below are some descriptions from families we work with of what it’s like to foster with us.
Click here to read more about our foster families’ experiences.

My social worker helps me with everything and anything I need from her.
CFCS helps me organize appointments and find the services I need.
Our relationship is collaborative, supportive and respectful.
They listen to me.
It’s a pleasure to work with my IFC social worker. She’s accommodating and a great resource.
CFCS takes the time to better understand my foster child and their history.