Every year in Texas, 17 thousand children are removed from their biological homes due to abuse, neglect or other unsafe situation. They are taken from everyone and everything they know and too often placed far away from friends, school, doctors and even relatives.
Where do they receive the guidance and care they need to succeed in school?
Who provides the nurturing environment they need to feel safe and thrive?
Who do they turn to when they have no one else?
Texas Foster Parents
Confirmed victims of child abuse / neglect in Texas
Children living in foster care in Texas on 8/31/2016
Texas children removed from their home due to unsafe conditions
Children waiting for adoption on 8/31/2016
Youth who aged out / emancipated
Across the State of Texas, thousands of dedicated individuals and couples have committed to providing a safe, nurturing environment for these children and youth until a positive, permanent outcome can be achieved.
Unfortunately, there are not enough families and homes for the tens of thousands of children living outside their biological home due to removal by Child Protective Services.
Many children are ‘in care’ for a temporary time and return home when conditions are safe for them again. During that time they need a nurturing environment where they can learn how to handle their feelings in an appropriate way, develop good relationships, succeed in school and become responsible members of a family.
For other children, returning home is not possible and other permanency goals are identified such as adoption or relative care. Around 800 per year ‘age out’ of the system on their eighteenth birthday with few adults committed to their support and success.
Ethnicity Breakdown of Children in Care 2016
Average Time in System by Exit Type
Without the dedicated support of caring individuals outside their biological family, these children risk legal-trouble, homelessness, further victimization and worse. They need safety, patience and nurturing mentors. They need great foster parents – Texas children need you.
ABOUT THE PROCESS
Before a child can be placed, the State of Texas requires certain steps to license your home. The process can take 30-90 days depending on several factors. The steps include:
Pathways is an expert in the training and support of families just like you.
Having served more than 12,000 children over 20 years, we will work with your unique situation, family and children to provide consultation and walk along side you through the entire process as a trusted and experienced partner.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- At least 21 years of age
- Healthy, mature and responsible
- Financially stable
- Own or rent your own home
- Have appropriate space in your home for a child
- Attend required training
- Consent to various background checks
You do not have to be married or make a certain amount of money. You do need to demonstrate the ability to provide a safe, stable and nurturing environment.
Aside from travel to our office for training, the only real expenses are a Fire Inspection ($50), a home Health Inspection ($100) and CPR/First Aid training ($40). We provide referrals for all of these. All pre-service training, home study and case management through the licensing process is provided for no fee.
Some families decide to open their home because one caregiver is already a “stay at home” parent. This is not necessary however. We work with families of all kinds and working parents who want to help these children are fully supported by our process and staff.
The most successful and desired foster families are those committed to helping find a safe, permanent home for these children and youth. Our foster parents are true members of the treatment team which can include, state case workers, agency Family Specialists, volunteer CASA workers, attorneys, doctors and yes, biological families. We never share foster parent addresses, phone numbers or other identifying information to the biological family unless specifically requested.
Families consisting of a single adult or two adults of the same gender can foster and adopt children in Texas. We work with individuals and families from every background and focus on finding homes where children can be safe, healthy and nurtured.
Many foster parents grow close to the children in their care which can make it difficult when they leave. In some circumstances, foster parents can – and many do – adopt children that come into their lives through the foster care system. Our an adoption program can facilitate the seamless adoption of foster children when appropriate. Adoption of foster children has many benefits including tax-breaks, medical insurance and even state college and vocational schooling tuition.
- Specialized Training – In addition to initial training, you will receive ongoing training, support and education
- Financial Reimbursement – Foster parents receive monthly reimbursement funds for child-care related costs such as food, clothing and housing
- Therapy – In-house therapists provide group, individual and family therapy as desired or needed
- Crisis Management – We provide 24-hour support & emergency intervention for all families
- Insurance – All children receive Medicaid for medical and dental services while in foster care
- Case Management – All families and children receive support through the licensing and home study process with monthly visits and regular guidance once a child is placed in the home
Fostering the Future.