Teaching Adolescents Positive Skills (TAPS)

The Teaching Adolescents Positive Skills (TAPS) program is a Gillis Treatment Foster care program for adolescents ages 12-18 who have a history of emotional and/or behavioral problems due to the lack of skills needed to manage emotions and cope with troubling situations. Adolescents may experience problems due to trauma, abuse or neglect that has occurred sometime during their childhood. These adolescents are placed in specially trained foster homes who work as members of a treatment team to provide a safe, structured and consistent environment.

The program is based on teaching adolescents positive skills to eventually lead a productive, legal and independent lifestyle. The program uses components from the Sanctuary model of trauma informed care, behavioral shaping & restorative discipline, positive parenting and collaborative problem solving. The program is also based on a point and level system with increased privileges as they progress through the levels and learn healthier ways of coping with trauma.

The foster parents in this program receive an enhanced level of support, including 24/7 crisis intervention, bi-weekly foster parent support groups and daily phone calls to check on the youth’s behavior and their own level of stress. Furthermore, the foster parent’s input into the treatment of the adolescent is highly valued and they receive reimbursement for caring for a child in their home.

For every adolescent in the program the aim is to:

  • Provide them with close supervision
  • Provide them with fair and consistent limits and consequences
  • Provide structure and routine
  • Teach them positive skills
  • Provide them with the tools to become successful in the home, school and community

The TAPS program is an alternative to residential care for troubled adolescents, so they can learn the skills they are lacking while still living in a home environment. It is our belief that a home-style placement provides the adolescent with the best opportunities to learn and change.

For more information, please email fosterhomes@gillis.org.