What is foster care?
Foster care is intended to be a temporary arrangement until a permanent living situation (also called permanency) is determined for a child. Sometimes a child is reunified with his or he family if birth parents are able to provide a safe, stable home. If parents cannot rehabilitate or provide a safe home, the child can be adopted.
While in foster care, children are provided a loving home with foster parents who care for children. Foster families provide stability for children in their time of need. Foster parents shine hope into the lives of children by showing them they are loved. Foster families are all around us, including in churches, sports leagues and schools.
Who are the kids in foster care?
Children and teens in foster care are normal kids in your community, of all ages and backgrounds. According to the latest data released by TDFPS,
- 58 percent of children in foster care are under the age of 9 and 35 percent are ages 10-17.
- 41 percent are Hispanic, 29 percent Caucasian, 23 percent African-American and 7 percent other races.
- 68 percent of the children in foster care, waiting to be adopted, have absolutely no disabling conditions.
Children in foster care did not choose to be removed from their families or put into care. These children also share one important commonality: They simply need a family to love and care for them.
How do you become official foster parents?
For CPS or a licensed child-placing agency such as Buckner to place a child in foster care in your home, you must receive a license from the state of Texas. If you don’t feel ready to become a full-time foster parent, you can become a licensed respite or substitute caregiver, babysitting children in foster care and giving full-time caregivers a break.
Each agency must adhere to standards that the state dictates, but each agency also has slightly different processes. To become a licensed foster parent through Buckner, you need to meet our basic requirements, attend a local information meeting and complete interviews, a home study and training.
As you might imagine, there are many nuances to a system so large, but we hope this serves as a helpful overview. The TDPFS website offers a lot of great information about what to expect, how the system works and who the children are in foster care.
We would also love to talk with you, if you’re interested in more information about the process or have questions about foster care or the needs in your community. You can contact us here.