Frequently Asked Questions about Foster Parenting
What is Foster Care?
Foster care is the temporary placement of children and youth with families outside of their own home due to child abuse or neglect. The goal is to provide a safe, stable, nurturing environment.
Why are children placed in foster homes?
Department of Family and Protective Services is committed to child protection and family preservation. Every child is entitled to grow up in a permanent family. The primary and preferred way of achieving this goal is to provide families experiencing turmoil with services to prevent the need to place children outside their homes. When a child must be separated from the family the Department of Family and Protective Services will provide a healthy and safe environment and will make appropriate and timely efforts to provide services to reunite the family. DFPS will provide appropriate homes for children who cannot be reunited with their families.
Who can be a foster family?
Foster parenting is a serious commitment. It requires giving the gift of unconditional love to children and youth who may never have experienced love of any kind and who may not know how to accept it. It also requires the foster parent to be able to bond and attach to children quickly, but still be able to separate from those children when they are returned to their birth family or moved to a more permanent family situation.
What is a foster parent?
A foster parent is a person who cares for children/youth who are not in their custody, children and youth who have entered the foster care system. Foster parenting is an opportunity to make a difference in a child’s life during a time of crisis. Foster parents care about children and are willing and able to provide care and nurturing for the duration of the child's stay in foster care. Foster family care is a temporary arrangement until a child’s permanent plan is achieved, such as return to their own families or adoption. Foster parents are asked to complete an application, submit to home assessments and attend training. Foster families must demonstrate financial and emotional stability, responsibility and a willingness to work with the agency that supervises their home.
What is the first step in becoming a foster parent?
You are encouraged to be informed. Gather information about foster parenting, talk to other foster parents. Then contact our office to sign up for their next foster parent orientation session. There are a number of ways to get information about orientation schedules:
Contact Caregivers Youth and Transitional Living Services on this website.
Should you decide that you do not have sufficient room in your home or that you are unable to provide full time care for another child in your home, we encourage you to explore alternative ways to support foster care.
How do I become a foster parent?
Foster parent certification follows mandates set by Texas law, The Department of Family an Protection Services and Caregivers YTLS policy. The following requirements must be fulfilled prior to an individual or couple being certified to provide care for children. Individuals or couples must:
- Be at least 21 years of age, financially stable, and a responsible, mature, healthy adult.
- Be married or divorced for at least one year (can also be single).
- Show proof of marriage and/or divorce.
- Have a high school diploma or equivalent.
- Be able to clear a detail criminal history/FBI background check and abuse/neglect central registry
check on all adults in the household.
- Your home must pass a city fire and environmental health inspection.
- Must clear random drug tests.
- Must have favorable home study.
- You can live in a house or apartment.
- Must have a cleared TB test.
What are the agency expectations of foster parents?
Foster parents are expected to do for a foster child the things they would do for their own child:
Maintain confidentiality regarding the foster child and their family.
Arrange and take child to medical and dental appointments.
Register the child in school.
Participate in school meetings and events.
Take the child to appointments and extracurricular activities.
Inform the child’s worker of events occurring with the child.
Purchase clothing with allotted board payment.
Participate as a team member with agency staff, attend agency meetings, court hearings.
Support the child’s parents in their effort to have the child returned to their care.
Will I have to work with the child's parent?
Yes. but often minimal. The Department of Family and Protective Services Foster Care Program is comprised of a team of persons working together to do what is in the best interest of children. Foster Parents are critical members of that team. The goal for a child placed in the DFPS custody is to achieve safety and permanency as soon as possible, which includes working with the child’s parents towards reunification.
Will I be paid to be a foster parent?
Monthly reimbursement payments are made to certified foster parents to reimburse for the cost of caring for a child. This help to meet the daily needs of the child for shelter, food, clothing, allowance and incidental expenses. Reimbursement payments are determined by the child’s level of care. The child’s health and dental needs are covered by Medicaid.
Will I get to choose the foster child for my home?
Yes. You may read a summary regarding the child background and history. Caregivers YTLS does its best to match a foster child with a foster family who can best meet the child’s needs. Some foster parents prefer to work with teenage children, while others do better with young children. You, however, will be able to specify the age and gender of the child you prefer.
How long will the foster children remain in my home?
The length of time that a child stays in a foster home varies according to the plans for reunification with their biological family. Children may be in foster care for a few days or a few months. The length of stay is influenced by the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997. The goal is to seek a permanent placement for the child as quickly as possible, be it reunification with the birth parents, kinship care, or adoption. If the child cannot be reunited with their biological family, the child will be placed in a permanent home. Placement is for as long as it takes to achieve a permanent placement for the child, whether the plan be for reunification with the child's family, placement with relatives, or adoption.
I am a single person. Can I become a foster parent?
Yes. Single persons and married couples are generally accepted as foster parents. Some states do not license/certify homes in which unmarried adults are living together unless they are relatives.
What type of support do foster parents receive?
Each family or child is assigned a case manager who is responsible for providing support to each family. Supportive services (respite care, training, crisis lines, etc.) are provided by the licensing agency. Support is also available through state and local associations.
What about medical insurance for foster children?
Foster children are eligible for Medicaid cards which cover medical, dental and counseling services.
As a foster parent, can I work outside the home?
Yes. However, if the foster child requires day care, the foster parent must be employed full time for assistance. Speak with the agency about day care when you call to inquire about becoming a foster parent.
Who pays for the foster child's clothing?
Foster parents receive a reimbursement which is intended to cover the cost of food and clothing. Some states provide a clothing voucher at the time of the child's first placement. Others provide clothing vouchers at the beginning of each school year.
Do I have to own my own home?
No, however you must have space for a foster child, according to the requirements of your state.
Do foster children require their own bedroom?
In most cases, foster children can share a bedroom with another child of the same sex. Speak with your assigned case manager for details and state requirements.
Can I take the foster child on vacation with me?
With permission of the child's case worker.
Where can I get more information?
Please click Here and send us a inquire...
Copyright by Caregivers Life and Support Services Inc. All Rights Reserved 2019.