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Every successful individual knows that his or her achievement depends on a community of persons working together.

In Texas, there are over 31,000 children placed outside their parent’s care in foster care. There are not enough foster homes to support this number of children in care. This means that children from your community are being placed outside of their home community, or in shelters.

Children who are placed outside their home community in one day lose their parents, family, school friends, teachers, coaches, and sense of connection to their community. They frequently miss school so they can have visits, or they don’t see family because they need to be in school. This sense of loss is compounded when they cannot be placed with their brothers and sisters due to no one having enough room.

Family talking to foster agencies representative.

Foster parents are needed to take children of all ages. The hardest to find placement for are teenagers and for children with challenging behaviors. Foster parents who are willing to take sibling sets of 3 or more that spread across the age ranges are greatly needed.

An important role for foster parents is to work with the child’s birth family to help that child return home, and if that fails, to commit to raise/parenting the child through adoption or guardianship.

The foster parent helps children to keep contact with their birth family, while acting as a mentor for that family. Foster care is a service provided to the child’s entire family. Foster families come from the same community as the child, are willing to accept and agree to visitation and other types of contact with siblings, relatives, and other important people in the child’s life.

Frequently Asked Questions

You must be 21 or older. If you are applying with a partner/spouse, they must also be 21 years old. You need to live in at least a two bedroom residence. Must be able to pass a background check. You must be able to meet your personal financial obligations/expenses without foster care reimbursement.

Background checks are run on every foster parent applicant who wishes to work with TFI. Some criminal charges are automatic barriers to being verified as a foster parent in the State of Texas. Some criminal charges require additional steps. Every person’s criminal background check is reviewed individually and the appropriate steps are taken.

Usually a child enters the foster care system because of a breakdown in the family home, which makes the home an unsuitable place for the child to live. Other times, a child may be placed in foster care because of physical or emotional challenges that the birth parents are unable to manage. It is important to remember that children enter the foster care system through no fault of their own and have been adjudicated as being abused and/or neglected by the people who are supposed to provide a loving, safe home for them.

Yes. You will receive a call from our intake office for any child needing placement. They will read you a referral about the child and his/her behaviors. You and your family will be able to make an informed decision regarding bringing that child to your home.

We recommend you wait until your move is finalized. If you are moving to Texas from another state, you must wait to apply until you are living in Texas. If you move midway through the verification process, it could cause unnecessary delays or you could move to a part of Texas not served by TFI.

Most foster care placements are temporary. The majority of children return to their own families once the family’s issues have been resolved. There is no set time period because every case is different.

It is possible that foster families could have contact with the biological families of children placed in their homes. This is handled based on the individual preferences of the foster family and can be discussed with your assigned Foster Care Case Manager.

You will contact the case manager TFI assigned to your home between 8am-5pm. 24-hour on call support is provided to your family during non-working hours. You will be provided with a contact number for the local on-call Case Manager to help you through the crisis you are experiencing.

A foster child may share a room with another foster child or biological children so long as the children are the same gender. There are some exceptions to this.

This is done by exception and is not a regular TFI practice.

TFI attempts to get to know the foster parents and will provide information about the child prior to placement in order to create a good environment for both. If the family unit begins to struggle, TFI will try to set up interventions and will work closely with you to help rectify any issues. In most situations, it’s important to remember that foster parents are required to give 30 days’ notice before a child can be removed from their home.

Yes, TFI does have an adoption contract with the State of Texas and can assist foster families with completing adoptions of foster children.

This is permitted with the appropriate approvals from the State of Texas and, in some instances, the Courts.

Generally, the child will go to school in the district where your home is located.

The State of Texas provides daycare assistance for many foster children so long as all caregivers in the home meet the employment requirements.

It depends on the individual child and their behaviors and needs.

Appropriately vaccinated and safe pets are quite welcome in foster homes.

While firearms and other weapons are permitted in foster homes, there are requirements as to the safe storage of firearms, weapons, and ammunition.

Of course, provided these adults are not infringing on the space intended to be used for the foster child’s bedrooms. It’s important to note that all household members 14 years old and older are required to complete local and federal Background Checks and must complete Tuberculosis screenings prior to residing in the home or the home being verified.

As a foster parent, you must provide the child the opportunity to attend a church of their preference or provide alternate care for the foster child.

You just have to have a valid, government-issued photo ID to apply. However, TFI does require that you apply for and receive a Texas-issued photo identification as soon as possible.

You must be residing in the United States legally in order to be a foster parent. This can be either through citizenship or, in some cases, a permanent residency status.

Yes, all foster children will have health insurance provided by the State of Texas.

Yes, from approval from the CPS worker and the child’s attorney.

Foster children may be cared for by a babysitter, another foster parent, or other caregivers. In some cases, these caregivers may be required to submit to Background Checks prior to assisting with care for foster children.