For many families, fostering is more than about helping children in need. It’s also an opportunity to provide hope and bring joy to a child’s life. If you’re hoping to apply to be a foster parent and wondering what the requirements in Texas are, keep reading.
We’ll discuss critical foster parent requirements in Texas, plus training programs to help you become a licensed foster care parent. Let’s walk through the requirements together so you can set yourself up to make a difference in a child’s life.
Requirements To Become a Foster Parent
Here is a comprehensive list of all the requirements to be a foster parent. We broke them down into the following categories: personal, training, and home prerequisites.
- Be at least 21 years of age (24 through a World For Children).
- Be physically and emotionally healthy.
- Have a regular source of income (cannot depend on foster care payments or government assistance to make ends meet).
- Have at least a high school diploma or a GED.
- Be single or married for at least two years.
- If married, you must provide proof of marriage.
- Complete a foster care application containing background information, lifestyle, and references.
- References on your application must come from both relatives and non-relatives.
- Must pass a criminal background check with no history of abusing children.
- Must test negative for tuberculosis.
- Agree to non-physical disciplinary methods.
- Must agree to a proper home care study, including visits with all household members (regardless of age).
- Must be willing to attend at least 50 hours of DFPS training (online and in-person). Training is designed to assess foster care strengths and parenting skills.
- Foster care homes that receive only child-care services must complete 20 hours of annual care training per home.
- Foster parents with children receiving treatment services are required to complete 50 hours of training annually.
- A single foster parent must complete 30 hours of annual training.
- Become certified in first aid and CPR.
- Attend any additional classes for a license.
- Foster care parents must restrict the number of children in the household to no more than six. This number applies to both biological and foster care children.
- You must provide proof of vaccination for all pets in the household.
- As far as foster care bedroom requirements in Texas, you must provide adequate sleeping space for all household members.
- As part of a home study visit, your house must be approved for fire, health, and other related-safety inspections.
Foster Care Training in Texas
After going through the initial requirements, completing an application, and passing an initial background check, it’s time to look deeper into the training programs required. While training requirements may differ depending on your agency, the following is a breakdown of the programs you can expect to complete before obtaining a fostering license.
STAR Pre-Service Training
STAR, which stands for Specialized Training and Resources, is an eight-hour pre-service training program serving as an introductory course for foster-care-related matters. You’ll learn about trauma, basic health requirements, and training to address child abuse problems. Participants can complete the course in a single day.
PRIDE (Parent Resource for Information, Development, Education)
As a competency-based program, PRIDE is designed to help families foster children in the child welfare system. As a prospective foster guardian, you will gain an in-depth understanding of child attachment concerns, grief patterns, behavioral concerns, and the effects of fostering on a family. Expect to complete 50 hours of training if you and your partner are applying to become foster parents.
CPR & First Aid
As a foster parent, you must learn to deal with health and life-threatening emergencies. Expect to complete training in rescue breathing, CPR for infants and children, and choking. You are required to retake this course every two years.
Psychotropic Medication Training
Since your child may require medicine medication from time to time, foster care guardians must learn how to administer psychotropic medication. There are three-course requirements to be aware of: an online medical consent course and two medication training courses. The second course is taught by a registered nurse.
Some additional foster parent requirements in Texas include universal precautions training and undergoing a home study visit. The visit is meant to assess if your home meets standard fostering guidelines. Expect questions regarding your personal history, lifestyle, experiences with childcare, and other relevant subjects.
Contact A World For Children
Fostering a child is a journey towards endless love and cherishable memories. Once you’re ready to take that next step in changing a child’s life, visit us at A World For Children.
Since 1997, we’ve made it our objective to change the lives of children who’ve faced neglect and abuse. If you’re looking to adopt and are wondering “What are the requirements to adopt a child in Texas?” then take a look at our Adopt from Foster Care program.
Contact us and see what difference you can make.