02/07/2023 AWFC

Here’s What Disqualifies You From Being a Foster Parent

Are you thinking of becoming a foster parent? That’s great! There are over 424,000 children in the United States who need dedicated foster parents and supportive homes. 

Are you worried about what may disqualify you from being a foster parent? Every state in the United States has regulations on who can and cannot be a foster parent. What disqualifies someone from being a foster parent depends on an individual’s background, home environment, and current situation. Certain qualifications are put in place to keep foster children safe and ensure only qualified individuals are approved to take a child into their care. 

​​For more specific information on Texas laws and to learn more about what disqualifies you from being a foster parent, visit the US Department of Health and Human Services.

If you are concerned you may not meet the requirements to become a foster parent, keep reading to find out exactly what disqualifies you from being a foster parent.



What Disqualifies You From Being a Foster Parent?

Keep in mind that while some circumstances can disqualify someone, there is also room for explanation, and many factors qualify one for foster parenting. 

A Criminal Record

It is honorable to want to become a foster parent; however, if you have been convicted of certain crimes, it is likely in the child’s best interest to find care elsewhere. These children have often been through a lot at a young age, so it is important they are carefully placed in homes and will never be put in a potentially dangerous situation. 

You may be disqualified from being a foster parent for a felony or misdemeanor conviction. Background checks are typically required, and having a history of violence or abuse, especially against children, can disqualify you from becoming a foster parent or adopting. Some people with criminal records can eventually become foster parents; however, it depends on their record and when they were charged.

Lack of Adequate Housing

Foster parents must provide a suitable environment for the child that is clean, safe, and meets the adequate space requirements. If you are housing insecure, have limited space, or have health or safety hazards in your home, you will most likely be disqualified from being a foster parent.

During the application process, all potential foster parents will be required to undergo an inspection of their homes. In Texas, you can be disqualified from being a foster parent if your home does not meet the home study requirements. These include having a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and on each level of the home, keeping weapons and ammunition locked away, and keeping the home free of rodents and insects. 

These may be what disqualifies you from being a foster parent, so if you have any of these issues, consider fixing them before applying. 

Insufficient Income

A foster parent must have sufficient income to support their household before receiving the foster care reimbursement. Not having enough money to take on the responsibility of a foster child disqualifies you from being a foster parent, so consider your financial situation before applying. 

Fostering a child, especially fostering with the potential to adopt, requires a financial commitment and a dedication to financial stability. This is for the betterment of the child and the household. 

Age and Inadequate Education

In Texas, there are age and educational requirements you must meet, or you will be disqualified from being a foster parent. To be a foster parent, you must be at least 21 and have a high school diploma or its equivalent. You must be old enough to properly take care of a child, but an elderly person may be denied approval to become a foster parent if they have persistent health issues. 

Physical, Mental, & Emotional Stability

Most of the time, foster children come from homes where their parents were deemed at least temporarily unfit to take proper care of them. A candidate must show they are physically, mentally, and emotionally capable of providing care for children throughout the application process. They also must show they would be an appropriate role model for the foster child(ren), or they will be disqualified from being a foster parent.

Overall, if potential foster parents do not have the ability to provide nurturing care, appropriate supervision, reasonable discipline, and a homelike atmosphere for foster children, they will likely be disqualified from being foster parents. 

Disqualification does not mean you or your family are incapable or unworthy of supporting children in need. There are several ways you can make an impact in someone’s life outside of fostering. The reason for disqualifying some people from being foster parents is the child’s safety, health, and well-being. The child will always come first, and putting them in a home with minimal risk is of the utmost importance.

What Qualifies You to Be a Foster Parent? 

Yes, there are some key factors that can disqualify someone from being a foster parent. However, there are also lots of factors that can make someone an excellent foster parent. A love for children, a caring home, and a dedication to child education all make for a wonderful foster parent. 

Even if you recognize yourself in one of the above disqualification factors, this doesn’t mean you can’t still be a foster parent. There are always unique situations and circumstances that can change qualification status. The single most important factor that every foster parent must share is the desire to make a difference in the life of a child. 

Contact A World For Children for More Information

If you live in Texas and are interested in becoming a foster parent, reach out to A World For Children. We are a licensed foster care agency and can help guide you through the process. Email us at awfccontact@awfc.org or call us at +1-800-419-5603.


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