- Texas is currently in crisis with their need for foster parents. Over the course of 2020, there was almost 800 children in the foster care system in Taylor County. Only 36% of those children stayed in Taylor County because there were not enough local foster families. We need more foster homes to ensure that every child in our area has a safe home to grow and heal, without leaving their schools, friends or sports teams when they go into foster care.
WHAT IS FOSTER CARE?
- Foster care is caring for children in your home who cannot safely live with their parents or guardians.
- Foster care is designed to be temporary while the parents or guardians prepare to care for their children with the ultimate goal always being reunification of children with their birth families or guardians. However, adoption can be an options in cases where parental rights are terminated.
- In the state of Texas those desiring to foster must work with a Child Placing Agency (CPA) in order to be a licensed foster family. The typical time to complete the licensing process is four to six months.
FACTS ABOUT FOSTER PARENTING
- Singles and married couples can become licensed to provide foster care with no expectation or commitment to adopt
- Families can choose to foster children with or without special needs, individual children or sibling groups and children within age ranges of the families choosing
- Families can be licensed to provide “respite” or relief care for foster parents on a short-term basis
- Families can also support foster families in their church or community in a variety of meaningful and practical ways
FACTS ABOUT FOSTERING TO ADOPT
- Some families choose to be licensed to foster with the intent of adopting that child
- Once licensed, these families are carefully matched with children in foster care who are waiting for families
- Only children whose parental rights have already been terminated would be matched
- This type of adoption is virtually cost-free to the adoptive family and many times includes helpful benefits provided by the state
- If the child is eligible, these benefits may include various services, college tuition assistance and other financial stipends
- These families meet the same requirements as traditional foster parents
To learn more about questions you may have while considering adoption, read this free e-magazine that may answer many of your questions:
Talk to our team about your next steps Download the ADOPTION GUIDE
FOSTER PARENT REQUIREMENTS
Requirements for becoming a licensed foster or adoptive parent can vary among agencies. Some of the basic common requirements are:
- Over the age of 21
- Clean criminal record
- Legal U.S. resident
- Space in the home adequate for a child
- Home that passes safety inspections
- Moral character and sound judgment deemed appropriate for parenting
- Required training and certifications
FOSTER PARENTS ARE
- Responsible for meeting the emotional, physical, recreational, spiritual, material and safety needs of children
- Subject to rules (i.e., state standards) for care of children in their care monitored by CPS and/or a CPA (Child Placing Agency)
- Foster parents are reimbursed for caring for children in foster care
- The reimbursement is meant to cover the expenses of raising children; it is not considered ‘income’ and is intended to be spent on the needs of children
- In most cases, the daily reimbursement is around $20-$25 per day for each child
- Children in foster care are also generally eligible for Medicaid in order to provide for their medical and dental needs
- In some cases funds are available to reimburse foster parents for a portion of their childcare costs
Beltway Park partners with several local agencies to provide foster parent licensing. Below are the names of some local agencies who other foster parents at Beltway Park have used. If you have friends who foster, be sure to ask your friends which agency they have used and ask about their experiences. You are absolutely welcome to ask your questions to each agency before signing with one particular agency for training.
Some great questions to ask each agency are:
- What training and post-placement supervision do you offer?
- What is the assessment process for potential foster or adoptive families?
- Do you have any unique agency requirements?
- Do you offer respite licensing so that our friends or family can help us in our foster journey? If so, how often?
Abilene, TX- Brownwood, TX - Wichita Falls, TX
Methodist Children's Home
500 Chestnut, Suite 838
Abilene, TX 79602
Christian Homes of Abilene
1202 Estates Drive
Abilene, TX 79602
Pathways Youth and Family Services
4150 Southwest Dr. #216
Abilene TX 79606
Saint Francis Community Services
1350 North 10th Street, Suite 6
Abilene TX 79601-4140