Learn about the local, statewide and global crisis and find answers to common questions and misconceptions about foster care and adoption from foster care.
Adopting from foster care is affordable.
Most child welfare agencies cover the costs of home studies and court fees, and provide post-adoption subsidies. Thousands of employers offer financial reimbursement and paid leave for employees who adopt and Federal and/or state adoption tax credits are available to most families.
Every child is adoptable.
Many children in foster care have special needs. All of them deserve the chance to grow up in a safe, loving, permanent home. Support and other post-adoption resources are available.
Adopting from foster care is permanent.
A family formed through adoption from the foster care is a forever family. Church ministry villages are crucial to the full adoption journey for children and families
Rethinking Some Common Foster Care Concerns
Foster Care FAQs:
How do I get licensed to be a foster or adoptive foster parent?
You first choose a child placing agency (foster agency). They will provide all the training, applications, background checks and give you a list of “to do’s” to be completed before becoming a licensed foster/adoptive parent. Each agency must uphold to state minimum standards but beyond that they each go about it in slightly different ways. This is the most important decision you will make and it will play a huge part in your success as a foster/adoptive parent. Talk with current foster families, call agencies, and interview them before making a decision.
How long does the process take?
This varies with the agency and your dedication to completing the required components. 3-5 months is a typical timeframe from start to children placement. This is also highly dependent on the parameters you set for the children you will take in your home. If you want a 0-1yr old that you can likely adopt you may have a long wait. However, if you have a wider range and are looking to foster only or foster/adopt you could have a child the day you sign your contract.
Do I decide what children come into my home?
A good agency will honor the parameters you set. Each family and child need to be considered thoroughly in evaluating a potential placement. Through the training and home study process, you and your agency will make a plan for which children your home is best equipped to serve.
How much does it cost?
The upfront costs can add up to about $200. Costs include FBI fingerprints for all household members over age 14, fire and health inspections, fire extinguishers, TB testing for all family members, and CPR and First Aide Training.
Do I get financial help to pay for the cost of caring for the child?
Yes. The state of Texas sets the pay rate which is currently based on a child’s level of care classifications. Meaning if a child has significant issues that require more time and money they will pay a higher daily rate to foster parents. Basic children receive about $22/day.
Do I have to be married, live in a house and be a stay at home parent?
No. Single parents who work and live in apartments make wonderful foster parents. There are standards set by the state that must be met such as age, finances, provide the child with 70 sq. ft. of living space, and an area to store their belongings. Depending on the age and gender of the children they may be able to share a room.
What about medical/dental care for foster children?
All foster children receive Medicaid. You are free to pick any provider that accepts their insurance.
How long do foster children stay?
From one day to forever. Typically a case takes 9-18 months to complete but there are a number of factors that affect the timeline.
Can I take children out of town or on vacation?
Yes, Yes and you should. Nothing says you aren’t really part of our family than leaving them somewhere else while the real family goes to Disney. As soon as they walk in the door they should be treated as fully fledged members of the family. Of course there are always unforeseen circumstances where taking foster children is not feasible and in some circumstances due to the case they may not be allowed. Then respite care can be used.
My spouse and I both work, if the kids are not in school yet do we pay for daycare?
If you both work 40 hours a week you may be eligible to receive free childcare at approved facilities. Your agency will help you find those facilities.
Can we leave the children with a babysitter?
Yes, if they are an approved babysitter and meet the minimum standards set by the state and your agency. Overnight stays away from home must be approved by the child’s caseworker and be with a licensed/approved respite provider.
Can I really handle this?
Yes and No… alone you can not handle the roller coaster fostering journey but in community and following God’s lead you can give hope and shine Christ light.
If God has called you to this then He will equip you. It may very well bring you to the end of your own abilities, strengths, perceived limits but that is right where God steps in and carries you and your faith grows by leaps and bounds. We will be here to help you along the way.