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Provide High Community Impact

Thank you for your interest in fostering Central Indiana youth. Your decision to influence your community in this way will positively impact youth who are in need of a safe home, compassionate caregivers, and a new hope for the future during times of transition.

Safe Nights Tucked in Bed from July 2022-June 2023
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Adult & Child Health Improves Lives

Adult and Child Health is a not-for-profit agency which has been supporting the child welfare and health needs of Central Indiana children and families since 1949. We have built a service model that provides the highest level of comprehensive care. We now offer mental health services, primary care, therapeutic foster care, school-based services for students in need, homeless outreach, career services, substance use treatment, and more. We are an Indiana State Certified Community Behavioral Health Center, a Licensed Child Placing Agency, and a Federally Qualified Health Center (look-alike).

Don't Just Take Our Word For It

Hear what our families say about Adult & Child, and their stories along the way.

The most rewarding thing is the happiness you see in the kids’ faces, and just knowing that if they weren’t there, I think about where would they be. It makes me feel good to know it doesn’t matter, they’re here now.
Mendez Family
Foster Family
Becoming a foster parent changed my life forever. I've been so happy to have A&C by my side for all of it.
Foster Parent
I’ve been a foster parent for 15 years. Over the last 15 years, I’ve probably taken care of 25 kids. It’s just a thing in me … I love doing it and the kids enjoy me.
Foster Parent

Frequently Asked Questions

We license a wide variety of foster parents because we believe this diversity will provide the best placements for kids. We encourage and support foster parents regardless of race, religion, socioeconomic status, marital status, sexual orientation, or gender.

  • Foster parents must be at least 25 years of age.
  • Foster parents must be able to financially support themselves without public assistance.
  • Foster parents may be single, divorced, married/non-married, or partnered couples.
  • All residents of the household, age 18 and older, must pass local, state, and national criminal background checks. All household members must have clear Child Protective Services checks.
  • Foster parents must have reliable, insured transportation and have a valid driver’s license.
  • The foster home must have sufficient bedroom space.
  • Foster parents must successfully complete Foster Parent Training.

Therapeutic Foster Care, also known as “Treatment” foster care, is a level of foster care that provides care, nurturing, and services to children believed to have significant emotional and behavioral needs. Caregivers who foster through a Therapeutic Foster Care program receive a wide range of support.

There are many reasons more families are needed. It is common for our current families to reach the state’s allowable “maximum” capacity, and not be able to take additional children. In addition, the more families available, the greater the likelihood we can place siblings together. And, the more diverse our foster family base is, the better we can match a child’s needs to a family. The more families we have dispersed throughout our services areas, the more likely we can place children in or near their own communities and avoid disrupting positive familiar connections for the child, like schools, peers, and positive role models.


Foster parents provide a safe, nurturing, and usually temporary home for children who have been removed from their home due to abuse or neglect. Foster parents care for children, with a goal to help them safely reunify with their families.


The licensing process typically takes 2-3 months. It is driven by the emerging foster parent’s engagement in the process.

Our goal is to match your home to the child whose needs and profile are the best fit. We use a specialized matching process when placing foster children. Recognizing that every child is unique, and has unique needs, we work to match the child with staff and families who are best prepared to meet those needs.


Foster and Agency News

Perry Township School Enjoys a Successful Summer SEL-ebration

Students and families at Glenns Valley Elementary enjoyed a Summer SEL-ebration on May 15 thanks to the planning and preparation of Glenns Valley Elementary SEL Specialist, Miranda Mellendorf, and Glenns Valley Elementary Social Worker, Amanda Craig, along with support from the GVE PTA, GVE teachers, and additional members of the A&C SEL team. Attendees made tie-dye t-shirts, slime, decorated some petunia plants to take home, added to the GVE Gratitude Banner, helped with a collaborative sticker mosaic, played outdoor games, and discovered how all of these fun activities can help promote SEL. The event was free for students and their families and was made possible by a Family Engagement Impact Grant from the Perry Township Education Foundation.

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Mission Moment: School Based Interventions Lead to a Major Comeback

When a high school student was experiencing anxiety, depression, and trauma symptoms in January of 2023, Adult & Child’s School Based Services and Lola Mahner, LSW, were there to provide support. Lola quickly learned that despite the past trauma, current trauma was still ongoing. This client and their family were facing possible homelessness, along with a lack of access to healthcare and food. Considering all of these experiences, Lola’s first goal was to help the client regain a baseline and control over their emotions. This involved psychoeducation, providing their family with weekly case management and family sessions (which led to stable housing, healthcare, and food access), targeting peer and social functioning, and utilizing components of CBT and DBT to target thought monitoring and emotional control. This required the client to test their limits, to learn new coping skills and communication strategies, and to develop a different outlook on life. “This was no easy task and resulted in the client leaving the office due to intense emotions more than once, and them wanting to quit therapy on several occasions,” explained Lola. “I never gave up on them. Eventually, I was able to help the client learn that it is okay to have bad days, but these bad days did not define them. Through our therapeutic relationship, they learned how to cope, to communicate, to have more control over their thoughts and emotions, and this hard work paid off.” This client was nominated by their school for the “Comeback Kid” Award, given each year to a student who faced adversities and hardships that impacted their school functioning and abilities, and who demonstrated resilience in overcoming these obstacles by remaining successful in their academic career. Lola had the honor of being one of three individuals present at the award ceremony to support her client. “The smile on their face when they saw me there to support them is something I will never forget. When they gave their acceptance speech after receiving their award, my client introduced me proudly and stated, ‘My therapist is here for me today, and I just want to thank her for all the things she has helped me with over the past year. There were a lot of things I didn’t think I would make it through, and I did it with her help.’ This recognition is rarely something that mental health providers receive, and it will be a moment that I will remember forever,” said Lola. “This moment encompassed all the hard work that we did together. The validation and recognition that my client and I felt that day reminded me of my purpose in this job and was certainly a mission moment for both of us.”

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Mission Moment: Reducing Anxiety to Help a Student Stay in the Classroom

Late in September of 2023, Dorian Villanueva, Skills Development Specialist, received a referral for a student experiencing severe separation anxiety that was impacting their ability to come to school and allow their parents to leave. The student eventually stopped attending school altogether. During this student’s intake, Dorian involved the student in coming up with a plan to attend school and spend a couple of hours with her for skills sessions. After a challenging first session, they worked out a schedule that utilized classroom visits where the student’s parents remained in the A&C office and Dorian attended class with the student. Over time, they were able to increase the student’s classroom time and school time, while decreasing Dorian’s classroom and session time and the parents’ presence in the building. “There really wasn’t anything we didn’t try with this student and their family,” Dorian said. She and the student worked together to build up coping skills and implement them into a morning routine to reduce anxiety before school. They modeled a classroom environment and completed activities to improve self-awareness, self-esteem, positive thinking, identifying triggers, self-calming ability, and problem-solving. Dorian was also able to coach the student’s parents on positive and negative reinforcement, extinguishing behaviors, psychoeducation on anxiety, and possible reasons for the student’s increase in anxiety. As of late January 2024, the student had been attending full school days without reporting any separation anxiety and even asked to go to bed earlier so school could come sooner. “This is really a testament to how much students across all backgrounds might benefit from our service,” said Dorian of the student’s success.

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We'd Love To Talk With You

Sarah Miller, PMHNP-BC

Sarah Miller works with the addictions team, general psychiatry for adolescents and adults, and the competency restoration team. She is board-certified as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Her specialties are working in addictions and with people who experience serious mental illness.

Miller graduated from Indiana University with a psychology degree and went back to school for nursing. She received her nursing degree from Indiana Wesleyan University and worked in a nursing home and also spent time working in a group home with adolescents. She received her master’s degree from Vanderbilt University.

She enjoys hanging out with her family and her two dogs, and going to sporting events.

Joanna Chambers, MD

Dr. Joanna Chambers is a psychiatrist who began seeing Adult & Child Health patients in November 2021. She graduated from Medical College of Georgia with her Doctorate of Medicine in 1996 and completed her residency in psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine. In addition to bringing a wealth of experience, she currently serves as an associate professor at Indiana University School of Medicine where she teaches Clinical Psychiatry. She is certified in Addiction Medicine and has a special interest in treating pregnant and postpartum women. She is President of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry Organization as well as a sitting member of many medical association boards. Recently, she has won the Residents’ Award for Teaching Excellence in 2020 from Indiana University and has received “Best Doctors Award” in 2010, 2011, and 2014. Dr. Chambers is incredibly active in the medical, academic, and research realms of medicine. She is currently accepting new patients on Wednesdays.