Thursday, October 19, 2017 6:03 AM
“A World For Children foster parents are the heart of “our world”. Each family is hand picked by God to serve His special children. Our families are so special – they rock a child in the middle of the night until the night terrors pass; they hold a child close and kiss away the tears; they create a gleam in the eyes of children who have lost their sparkle; they bring laughter to broken hearts; they open their homes and hearts to broken, battered children; they turn rain and a cloudy sky into a rainbow. Truly, A World For Children foster parents are treasures that we hold very dear.”
Sharon Willis, Ed. D. Executive Director
Our Foster Parents specialize in the following areas:
• Providing a strong commitment to serving the basic as well as therapeutic needs of the children in care.
• Providing appropriate supervision to ensure a child's safety and well being.
• Working as an integral part of the treatment team in ensuring the individual treatment plan is addressed.
• Providing a safe, nurturing, and loving environment.
• Communicating with all professionals servicing the child to ensure appropriate treatment at all times.
- Be at least 24 years of age (each guardian).
- Be married/divorced/widowed at least one year or single.
- Be in satisfactory health.
- Have dependable transportation.
- Have a bedroom of at least 80 square feet for a foster child.
- Have stable income to support your family and household.
- Pass a fire and health inspection.
- Have a high school diploma, a GED, or be able to pass a competency test to demonstrate basic skills necessary for parenting.
- Have no criminal record or history of abusing a child.
- Be mentally healthy.
- Be a Citizen, permanent resident, or other qualified alien of the United States as defined in 8 U.S.C. 1641(b).
- Have enough childcare or life experience to provide sufficient background to become an effective foster parent.
- Complete required hours of foster parent training.
- Be willing to abide by a policy of no physical discipline.
- Be willing to abide by the State of Texas and AWFC standards, policies, practices and procedures.
Foster care is including children in your family so their varying needs can be met. Foster families provide shelter, food, clothing, and acceptance in a nurturing environment in addition to “healing” intervention.
To ensure the success of each adoption, A World For Children strongly believes that a growth process should occur between the family and the child prior to the lifetime commitment of adoption. Through our foster-to-adopt program that growth process can take place with professionals to guide you and the child along the way.
The primary goal for each child who enters the foster care system is to be reunited with his/her biological parents or relatives. Foster families, by design, are families who provide a temporary haven until permanence can be obtained through reunification or adoption. A child's stay can range from several months to several years. You should ask your case worker for the child’s placement plan prior to placement in your home.
Foster parents are responsible for all costs accumulated during the licensing process. Some costs may include CPR and first aid training, FBI fingerprinting, health inspection, etc. Once your home has been verified and a child has been placed in your home you will then receive foster care subsidies.
Do you have to be married to become a foster parent?
Single parents are welcomed and valued at AWFC.
Do I have to own my home to be a foster parent?
You do not have to own your own home to be a foster parent. You must be able to provide the required living space specified in the agency policy for each child placed in your home. The home environment must be financially stable without the assistance you may receive from the foster care subsidies.
May I determine what children are placed in my home?
Each family will be given the opportunity to express what type of children (age, sex, ethnicity, behaviors, etc.) they can parent most effectively. As a foster parent with AWFC you will not be required to accept and care for a child in your home with which you are uncomfortable.
How long does it take to become a foster parent?
On average the process for a newly licensed foster parent takes approximately 3 months to complete. However, the process can be completed sooner depending on the family's availability and determination.
We'd like to help a child but are not ready to commit to fostering. Are there other ways to help?
Children in foster care need many caring adults in their lives on a consistent basis. Short-term or respite care is one way to get involved by providing care to children for a specified time while foster parents are unavailable or taking a break. It can be as short as a few hours or as long as a few weeks. Other ways to be involved include mentoring, providing transportation, or sponsoring a child.
- When you first contact one of our offices, a staff member will answer your questions about being a foster parent. If you’re interested in taking the next step, we will get your basic contact information to mail you a packet of information and forms or you may access the forms below. Once you have received the forms please fill them out and return them to us.
Step 2: Orientation
- You will be invited to an orientation, where you will meet with other interested families and learn more about what it will mean for you to be a foster parent. Questions are welcomed. If needed, a staff person will come to your home and meet with you individually to answer your questions and provide information. If you have not yet acquired an application you will receive one at that time. A World For Children provides foster/adopt services to every region of Texas.
Step 3: Getting to know you better
- We want to get to know you better and the home assessment is our first opportunity to visit with you in your home. We will evaluate the home environment in which you will be caring for children.
Step 4: Pre-Service Training
- Every prospective foster parent is required to attend the training listed below. This invaluable training is designed to help you make a final decision about becoming a foster parent. The classes are an opportunity to broaden your knowledge and strengthen your confidence to meet the challenge of taking children into your home. The following training is provided at no cost to you.
- 8 hrs. Of Foster Parent Initiative (FPI)
- 3 Hrs. of Medication Training
- 16 Hrs. of Behavioral Management and Restraint Training (TIP 1 and TIP 2)
- 6-8 one hour sessions of in-home learning modules
- CPR and First Aid training are also required. This training is
- not offered through our agency. We recommend you contact
- your local Red Cross for training dates and times.
- The State of Texas Minimum Standards also require that
- verified foster homes receive annual in-service training.
- Through A World For Children staff and professional
- affiliations annual in-service training will be offered regularly.
Step 5: Family Home Study
A caseworker will visit you in your home. The purpose is to discuss your personal history, family interests and lifestyle, childcare experiences, the types of children you feel would best fit in your home, and your strengths and skills in meeting the children's needs. The home study is used in assessing the home for children's safety and available space. All homes must meet standards enumerated in the Minimum Standards and Guidelines for Child-Placing Agencies.
- Step 6: Licensing or Verification
- During the licensing process all documents will be reviewed to
- determine whether to certify or license you as a foster parent. You
- will then receive your certification listing the services your home is
- verified to provide.
- Step 7: Child Placement
- Once you have the appropriate certification or license, A World For Children can match you with a child. You are now ready to provide a child or children in foster care with a safe and loving home.
By becoming a foster parent you commit to making the hurt go away. This commitment enables you to help CHANGE THE LIFE AND DESTINY OF A CHILD.
Please complete and return the following.
AWFC Foster Parent Applications
AWFC Authorization to Release Information Form for each agency you have worked with. Please include the agency’s name, phone number, fax number and the name of a contact person at the agency.
AWFC Criminal History Form for each member of your household that is 14 or more years of age.
After these forms are completed, return them to A World For Children and we will contact the agency and facilitate the transfer of your information. Unless you make other arrangements through your Family Support Specialist at AWFC, please make sure you have contacted the agency you are currently working with to let them know you are considering transferring to AWFC and that we will be contacting them.
If your home has been active within the past year, you must complete the following training: FPI training before we can license your home, a 1 hour Restraint Policy class to learn AWFC Restraint Techniques and Policies, and training on our medication policies. Additional training may be required.
BECOMING A FOSTER PARENT
2007 Sam Bass Road, Bldg. 2 • Round Rock, TX 78681 • Toll Free: 888-579-3880 • Phone: 512-218-4400 • Fax: 512- 218-8167