How to Become a Foster Parent in Texas

Fostering a child can be an incredibly rewarding but sometimes challenging experience. You become responsible for your foster child’s wellbeing and will need to be prepared to provide adequate support. However, you also have the opportunity to provide that child with a safe and loving space to grow until they are adopted.

If you’re wondering how to become a foster parent in Texas, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve outlined the steps for this process and helpful resources you can turn to if you have additional questions.

How to Become a Foster Parent in Texas

Learning how to become a foster parent in Texas is a unique experience for every individual. Your personal experience may vary slightly depending on the foster care organization you work with. However, we’ve outlined a few of the general steps that most individuals must take to foster a child.

1. Review Qualifications

Before you begin, it’s important to make sure that you are eligible to foster a child in Texas. To become a foster parent in Texas, you’ll need to:

  • Be 21 years or older*
  • Be employed or retired
  • Pass a background screening
  • Maintain financial stability
  • Undergo a home study

*Note: Some adoption or foster-to-adopt agencies may have a unique age requirement. For example, A World For Children requires that foster parents be 24 years or older to apply.

Throughout the process, you’ll need to provide additional information or documentation, including training certifications. Once you’ve determined that you are eligible to become a foster parent in Texas, you can begin the application process.

2. Complete Application

Once you meet the eligibility requirements, you can submit an application to become a foster parent. During this stage, you’ll want to contact local foster care agencies to learn exactly how the application process works and what information is required. Some locations may also have a pre-application process that they ask foster parents to complete to ensure that they are eligible.

3. Attend Training

In addition to completing an application, you are required to complete training and pass a background screening. There are three primary types of training:

  1. Child Welfare Training: This course teaches basic health and safety instruction along with guidance for emotional support. You must take this course before applying or within 30 days after receiving approval.
  2. CPR/First Aid Training: The purpose of this training is to ensure that you are equipped with lifesaving skills in preparation for emergencies.
  3. Domestic Violence Training: This course teaches individuals how to identify and respond to domestic violence or abuse.

4. Meet with a Foster Care Specialist

Next, you’ll need to schedule a meeting with a foster care specialist. Depending on your local agencies, you may have already connected with one during the application process.

At this time, you’ll learn about the process of becoming a foster parent and what to expect in terms of licensing requirements. You will also be able to ask any remaining questions that you may have. This is certainly not an exhaustive list but should give you a good idea of what to expect.

5. Undergo a Home Study

After you meet with a foster care specialist, your home will be visited by a licensed professional who is referred to as a home study worker. The purpose of this visit is to assess how well your home meets Texas safety and parenting guidelines. If you receive approval, you will be given a foster care license to take to court where a judge will give final approval. From there, you’ll be contacted when a child is in need of a foster home.

Resources for Becoming a Foster Parent

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed by the foster care process. Luckily, there are quite a few resources that you can turn to when questions or concerns arise.

One helpful resource when learning how to become a foster parent is A World For Children (AWFC). As a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency, AWFC is able to provide foster and foster-to-adopt services. Our foster care specialists can walk you through the process, answer questions, and address any concerns that arise along the way.

For further information on becoming a foster parent, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) can be a useful guide. The DFPS provides data regarding current foster care status, how to become a foster parent, and more.

The Texas Adoption Resource Exchange (TARE) is another wonderful resource for those learning how to foster a child in Texas. They provide a step-by-step guide to becoming a foster parent and can answer questions such as, “How much does it cost to foster a child in Texas?” or “How old do you have to be to foster a child in Texas?”. You also can foster or adopt a child directly through TARE.

Become a Foster Parent with AWFC

The foster care specialists at AWFC are ready to help you become a foster parent. We’ll work with you every step of the way to ensure you meet the requirements and are fully prepared for this responsibility. Once a child has been placed in your home, we’ll continue to assist you with the appropriate treatment for your foster child so you can ensure that they are given the utmost care.

Contact us today at 512-218-4400 or visit one of our Texas locations to meet with a specialist and begin the process of becoming a foster parent!

How to Adopt a Child in Texas: Process and Resources

Becoming an adoptive parent is an incredibly rewarding but sometimes overwhelming experience. You have the opportunity to provide a child with a caring, loving, and safe environment to grow up in. However, before your family can expand, you must go through the adoption process to gain parental and legal rights over your adopted child.

Learning how to adopt a child in Texas is the first step in applying to agencies and growing your family. We’ve compiled a guide to the Texas adoption process and where to find helpful resources along the way.

How to Adopt a Child in Texas

Below is a step-by-step guide to the Texas adoption process. Though an adoption specialist will be with you every step of the way, it can be beneficial to know how to get started and what to expect throughout the process.

Step 1: Adoption Inquiry

The first step in adopting a child in Texas is to research and select an adoption or foster agency that meets your expectations. Once you’ve identified an agency, you can submit an inquiry request for more information. The information packet provides details on who the agency is, their requirements for eligibility, the step-by-step Texas adoption process, and more. You’ll gain a better understanding of who you will be working with and whether the agency seems like the best fit for your growing family.

Step 2: Pre-Application

Along with the information packet, you’ll receive a pre-application. If you feel that this agency is the right fit, you can fill out and return the pre-application. This document is meant to give the agency a better look at who you are and why you are a strong candidate for adoption.

Once the agency receives your pre-application, an adoption specialist will review it and reach out to you if they have any questions or feel that you are ready for the next step in the adoption process.

Step 3: Application

If your pre-application is approved, you’ll be notified by an adoption specialist that you can begin the next steps. This includes filling out the full application. You’ll also need to provide further documentation for your family file based on the document checklist you’ll receive. After that information has been provided, you can move to the next step.

Step 4: Home Study

After your adoption application has been processed and approved, you’ll need to complete a home study before a child is placed in your home. If you are fostering to adopt, a home study may have already been completed. Otherwise, you’ll need to have your adoption specialist evaluate your space.

Step 5: Adoption Finalization

The final step in adopting a child in Texas is to finalize the adoption. If you are selected as an adoptive parent, you’ll be present to fill out the required paperwork on the day you will be taking the child home. The adoption specialist will walk you through this process to ensure everything is done properly.

Texas Adoption Process Resources

As you plan to adopt a child in Texas, questions will likely arise throughout the process. Knowing what resources are available can help you answer these questions and gain clarity on the details of the Texas adoption process.

A World for Children (AWFC)

When you’re ready to adopt a child in Texas, A World For Children is an exceptional resource to lean on. Our case managers have the knowledge and experience needed to provide adoptive families with education on the process and any additional support required throughout this journey. We’re here to help as adoptive parents move from one step to the next.

DFPS

Find ample resources for adoptive families with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). They provide guidance on how to adopt a child in Texas, adoption programs, financial assistance, education, and more. Find answers to frequently asked adoption questions and receive the support you need during this process.

TARE

The Texas Adoption Resource Exchange (TARE) provides additional information on how to become an adoptive parent, adoption assistance programs, and resources regarding home studies, documentation, and more.

Become an Adoptive Family with AWFC

Interested in becoming an adoptive family? Consider visiting a local AWFC office to get started. We make the application process as seamless as possible so you can spend your time preparing for a new addition to your family. We’re here to support you through every step, even after the paperwork has been signed and approved.

Contact A World For Children today to learn more about becoming an adoptive family!

Trauma Consortium

May is Trauma-Informed Care Awareness Month!

The Institute for Trauma-Informed Care in collaboration with the South Texas Trauma-Informed Care Consortium (STTICC) is excited to share with you the May 2021 calendar to celebrate and raise awareness of Trauma-Informed Care. The calendar features local organizations’ Trauma-Informed Care events. Attached you will find the calendar that includes 20+ events, trainings, and interactive classes which are free and open to the public. Additionally, we have added flyers for the events specifically hosted by the Institute and University Health. Please join us in May as we celebrate Trauma-Informed Care Awareness Month!

All The Extras

Shines with all the Extras

Our Children….

Fiesta TexasMany of our children have never been out of their county, spent the night in a hotel with a swimming pool or gone to a theme park.  AWFC takes  all our families and children to FIESTA TEXAS on the 4th Saturday of June. We provide help with gas, hotels and  a fabulous picnic on the grounds of Fiesta Texas.  Each year we purchase 1300 to 1800 tickets to the park,  AWFC t-shirts for everyone, parking passes, lunch and game souvenirs.  The smiles and giggles from the kids makes one’s heart grow huge and eyes tear up.  One little boy  came up to staff and said, “this is the best  day of my  whole life!” This event costs AWFC approximately $80,000 and is worth every penny.  Seeing the sea of  blue t-shirts reminds each child they are not the only one in care and what a great subject to write about on their first day back to school!

Launch Camp Instilling the importance of education and preparation for independent living are crucial for teens to overcome failure and reach out for success in their future.  With this in mind, AWFC has created a Launch Program with the highlight being the 4 day Launch Camp. Taking all our 14-18+ teens to camp each year has really made an impact; for the past 4 years 100% of our seniors have graduated from high school. This is a big deal as the national average of foster teens graduating is only 40%. With a variety of topics and activities, Launch Camp creates a environment of respect, positivity, self esteem and acceptance.  This venture costs from $80,000 to $100,000.

Education: A Necessity –  Each fall our children are sent back to school with a big send off…. A party begins the hoopla with a celebration encouraging success. Additionally, each school aged child receives $100 to purchase a special first day of school outfit; we believe self esteem is important! Each child also receives a new backpack filled with brand new school supplies from donations by the agency. Beginning school on equal ground as the other children makes a big difference. Unfortunately there is a  price tag of approximately $80,000  attached…. Again worth every penny!

Jump Start – Many of our children come to us in the middle of the night and are often wrapped in a blanket with nothing… NOTHING! Because they often come with siblings, their immediate needs can be overwhelming to a family.  AWFC gives each family $150 per child to buy the immediate necessities—pjs, underwear, school clothes,  shoes,  car seats, diapers, etc. just to get them started. Placing approximately 1500 children a year at $150 per child, AWFC’s  outlay is $225,000. A hefty sum but an important one to help our families get a good “jump start” on providing the best care to our children.

 

 

 

Launch Camp Go Fund Me!!

As a non-profit agency, A World For Children (AWFC) is licensed by the State of Texas to provide foster and foster-to-adopt services for abused and neglected children across the state.

The statistics on foster care youth are staggering::

* Within 18 months of emancipation 40-50% of foster youth become homeless
* 25% of foster youth will be incarcerated within the first 2 years of emancipation
* Within 2 years of emancipation 51% will be unemployed
* 46% of foster children complete high school
* Children who experience child abuse and neglect are 59% more likely to be arrested as a juvenile, 28% more likely to be arrested as an adult and 30% more likely to commit violent crimes

The statistics paint a heartbreaking picture. At 18, foster youth age out of the system and face a world with limited life skills. Homelessness, crime and poverty are only a few of the devastating outcomes. It is not only a tragedy for the youth but a tragedy for our society.

We created a program to deal with this serious problem.

Launch Camp is a program we designed to inspire, motivate, and prepare our teens for entrance into the adult world. This dynamic camp aims to promote relationship building through mentoring and team building activities, prepare teens through educational workshops and provide activities to build their self-esteem.

Your donation will go directly to help fund the cost of camp. This cost includes: use of campground facility, food, entertainment, guest speakers, prizes, travel, maintaining 24 hour 1:4 staff ratio, etc.

Any amount helps! Together we can change the world… one child at a time!

To donate: Go Fund Me Page

AWFC and Facebook

A World For Children is on Facebook,  take a look at our location pages and see what is going on, and how you can help foster children in Texas. Most of our offices have pages and can be found on this website under each of the location links or you can select them below.

Facebook Page Links:

A World For Children

Amarillo

Brownwood

Corpus Christi

Dallas

El Paso

Houston

McAllen

Round Rock

San Antonio

Tyler

Wichita Falls

 

Contact Us

Recreation Program

Jump Start