Texas Foster Care and Adoption Services is a state-licensed, private non-profit agency dedicated to finding homes for children who desperately need them.
We continuously search for people in the community to provide loving, nurturing and healing homes to abused and neglected children who have been identified by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
Here are some of the services we offer:
Traditional Foster Care – Foster Care is when a child is placed in the temporary care of a family other than his/her own as the result of problems or challenges that are taking place within the birth family, or while critical elements of an adoption are being completed.
Foster to Adopt – Sometimes through the foster care process, a foster caregiver will make the decision to adopt a child. This can occur if the child is eligible for adoption.
Kinship Fostering Connections – Attributed to the provisions of The Foster Connections Act, in some instances, it may be easier to a member of a foster child's family to become foster parents for that child.
Sibling Foster Groups – The bond between siblings may be the longest lasting relationship across the lifetime of a child. Often, siblings who are placed together in foster care can experience higher rates of stability, a shorter length of time in foster care, and suffer less emotional trauma.
Therapeutic Foster Care – Foster household is viewed as the primary treatment setting, which caters to the physical, emotional and social needs of children and youths in a supportive family setting until the natural family can be reunited or a permanent placement through adoption can be arranged.
Foster Care is when a child is placed in the temporary care of a family other than his/her own as the result of problems or challenges that are taking place within the birth family, or while critical elements of an adoption are being completed.
Foster parents are primarily ordinary people who have decided to step-up to make a difference in the life of a child, but they are often not alone in their work. Most foster agencies offer support to help foster parents be successful. Often the foster parents make up a small part of the overall foster care team, which can include the child, foster-adopt parents, mental health providers, educators, child advocates, medical providers, case workers, the child's biological parents, and the court. The goal of this team is to ensure the needs of the child are being met, and to find the child a permanent home, including reunification with the biological parents.
There are several different types of foster care, including traditional care, emergency foster care and respite foster care.
In the traditional foster care model, a small number of children can stay with a single foster parent or family. Usually this occurs in the foster parents' home and can last for a few months or even years. If necessary, this care may even be only a few days or months, depending on the reunification plan with their biological parents.
If a social worker or system cannot figure out a longer term solution for a foster child, an emergency foster care home is available 24 hours a day to receive children in need. This can happen due to a parent being arrested or a similar situation where the child needs a place to go immediately.
Respite foster care is available for a few days at a time to give families a break from stressful situations. This gives the primary foster family a short period of time to rest.
Foster to Adopt
Sometimes through the foster care process, a foster caregiver will make the decision to adopt a child. This can occur if the child has been emancipated from their birth parents – and therefore eligible to be adopted.
Usually the children available for adoption from foster care are older, with the average age being around nine. A lot are teenagers or pre-teens, with almost 50% coming from minorities. About 40% of these children are in sibling groups who must be adopted together to stay together. Often these children have physical or mental disabilities, or emotional problems resulting from abuse, neglect, abandonment and the constant turmoil of an unstable life. All these children are looking for the security of a permanent family situation.
It can take between 9 months to a year to finalize the adoption. The length of time depends on how long it takes to find a child, get the recommendations to adopt a child, and completion of the supervision and visitation periods prior to finalization in court.
Adoption is the permanent placement of children, whose parental rights have been terminated, in a home of a selected family. Adoption is a permanent lifelong commitment to a child.
The adoption process can be intense, and requires time and patience. It is easy to be frustrated or discouraged by the lengthy process, but remember than in the end you will be rewarded with the gift of changing the life of the child or children that you bring into your loving home.
Here is an overview of the steps of the adoption process:
- Make the decision to adopt
- Find an adoption agency that you feel is trustworthy and makes you feel good about the process
- Take part in the home study process and complete the documentation
- Find the child you want to adopt
- Meet with the child's caseworker and get his/her recommendation for you as the adoptive parent
- Schedule and take part in visitations with the child
- Create a plan to take the child into your home
- Take the child into your home
- Finish the supervision period
- Legally adopt the child through the court process
It can take between 9 months to a year to finalize the adoption. The length of time depends on how long it takes to find a child, get the recommendations to adopt a child, the home study process, and completion of the supervision and visitation periods prior to finalization in court.
Kinship Fostering Connections
In some instances, it may be easier for a member of a foster child's family to become foster parents for that child, due to the provisions of The Fostering Connections Act. This law allows states to waive non-safety-related foster care licensing standards on a case-by-case basis for family members who are seeking to become foster parents.
More details on Permanency Care Assistance (PCA) in Texas can be found here.
Sibling Foster Groups
The bond between siblings may be the longest lasting relationship across the lifetime of a child. Often, siblings who are placed together in foster care can experience higher rates of stability, a shorter length of time in foster care, and suffer less emotional trauma.
Our goal is to place foster sibling groups together whenever possible to give foster children every opportunity to excel in their foster family environment