Foster care is a popular option for many adults who can’t have children of their own or who want to help children in need. A foster parent cares for one or more children who have been removed by the state from their natural families due to abuse or other critical reason. Foster care is provided on a temporary basis, but could turn into a permanent adoption opportunity.
In order to become a foster parent in Texas, you must be at least 21 years old, complete 20 hours of training every year and have adequate sleeping space for the child or children you will be fostering. You must also agree to discipline foster children non-physically and vaccinate all pets on your property. If you meet all of these requirements, contact your local DFPS office about your interest in becoming a foster parent.
It is not uncommon for foster parents to eventually adopt a foster child whom they have cared for. In many cases, foster children who are adopted by the same families that provided them with foster care adapt successfully to their new lives. Texas family law controls the adoption process where a child custody lawyer will argue before the court in the best interest of the child. Texas family law allows for adoption to occur only after the natural parents’ rights have been permanently removed by the courts.
Becoming a foster parent is very rewarding. Many children in the system have never experienced a stable or nurturing home environment, so you have the opportunity to provide them with a positive experience. The state of Texas will reimburse you for most child-raising costs, and you will be assigned staff members and treatment teams which may include psychologists, counselors, social workers, and psychiatrists to support you.
Children who have been taken from their natural homes often have physical or mental health problems that make life challenging for them. These problems may be due to abuse or neglect. Once children see what normal life is like in a stable, nurturing home, they are more likely to live productive lives as adults. Foster care can be emotionally healing for many children.