Interested in Foster Care?

Let the Alliance be your guide and help you get the support you need.

Do you qualify to be a foster parent?

Have questions about foster care?

Foster Parent Stories

WE WANT TO HELP YOU GET THE SUPPORT YOU NEED
Are you filled with curiosity but overwhelmed with questions? You're not alone, and that's where we step in.

Foster Care is a confusing state system where children who have been abused and neglected are placed in foster or kinship families while their parents make necessary changes to be reunified.

The goal of the foster care system is reunification and all parties are working towards that until the courts determine it is not a safe option. 

The reality is:

At South Texas Alliance for Orphans, we understand that the first steps into foster care can be daunting. But when you connect with us, you’ll find more than just answers; you’ll discover a community ready to support you without judgment or pressure.

Families step into foster care to GIVE their family to a child, not to get a child for their family.

Foster care is a journey rooted in giving, not getting. 

Every individual, church and business that is part of the Alliance believes in the transformative power of selfless love and are here to guide potential foster care parents through the challenges and blessings of this commitment. 

HEAR THE REAL STORIES, WRITTEN BY THE KIDS WHO'VE LIVED IT.
REMOVED

Originally created for the 168 Film Festival, ReMoved follows the emotional story through the eyes of a young girl taken from her home and placed into foster care. 

After winning Best Film and Audience Choice at the 168 Film Festival, as well as winning Best Film at the Enfoque Film Festival and being an official selection at the Santa Barbara Independent Film Festival.

"It would be impossible to fully understand the life and emotions of a child going through the foster care system, but this short narrative film portrays that saga in a poetic light, with brushes of fear, anger, sadness, and a tiny bit of hope."

Santa Barbara Independent
Play Video
The Alliance Team have 15 biological kids, 14 adopted, 31 fostered, and reunified 12 kids.

We are passionate Christ followers who choose to enter the storm and show Radical Hospitality to our hurting neighbors. We are foster parents, adoptive parents, case managers, CASA advocates, trauma certified trainers, teachers, pastors, pastor’s wives, ministry leaders.

We have supported reunification, mentored biological family, remodeled a kinship family home to ensure placement, coordinated sibling visits, loved on caseworkers, advocated in court, schools, and daycares. 

We have loved every child TOO MUCH. We have been TOO ATTACHED every time. We have cried tears of joy and sorrow (sometimes in the same day).

South Texas Alliance for Orphans exists because our teams brings all this experience, passion and heart to every church, family and individual we serve. 

How can we serve you?
Foster Parent Stories

South Texas Alliance for Orphans exists because our teams brings all this experience, passion and heart to every church, family and individual we serve. How can we serve you?

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT FOSTER CARE

We have compiled the most common questions we receive about foster care. Explore these answers, but the best way to learn more is to attend our monthly information meetings.

What is Foster Care and who needs it?

Foster care is temporary care for children who have often experienced abuse and neglect. Appropriate family members are sought first and throughout the process, but when they are unable to serve, then children are placed in verified non-relative foster care homes.

What is a Foster Parent?

A safe, loving, trained person who not only provides basic necessities for a child but who also helps children heal through connection, attachment and advocating for the child.

Who decides that a child needs foster care?

A judge decides to keep a child in foster care at a 262 hearing soon after removal. 

 

WHAT IS THE GOAL OF FOSTER CARE?

The goal of foster care is reunification of a child with his/her biological parents/family whenever possible. A judge decides when, or if, it is safe to return a child to his/her biological parents.

Who Can be a foster parent?

Foster parents can be young married couples, established families, empty-nesters, singles or grandparents from all ethnic and educational backgrounds. A family’s economic status will be reviewed as part of the qualification process, as you must be able to care for a child without it creating undue economic hardship.  You can be single, live in an apartment, work full time and still be a foster parent.

 

WHAT IS REQUIRED TO BECOME A FOSTER PARENT?

Foster parents must show an adequate income to meet their needs, have appropriate living space that meets safety regulations, be fingerprinted for a criminal background clearance, and be in good physical and mental health with the stamina to care for children. You also have to go through 35 hours of training to help you understand trauma, the system, how to work with biological family and many other topics to help you serve children better.

Is there a need for foster parents?

Yes!  Our community is in a crisis.  We move over 1,000 children out of our area every year, fill up shelter beds and even air mattress on the floor of DFPS offices due to lack of foster homes.

do foster parents get financial help to care for the children?

Yes!  Once a child is placed, the foster family will receive daily reimbursement rate of $20-25 dollars for a basic level child.  The money is to help cover food, clothing, transportation, and activities.  Children also receive state funded health and dental care from approved providers.

can children in foster care be homeschooled, go to private school, go to school in my district?

They cannot be homeschooled and typically go to the public school the foster family is zoned for.  A foster family can choose to send the child to a private school with state approval but they must pay for it.

Can we take children in foster care on vacation with us?

Yes!  And you absolutely should.  The state and often your agency need to know about and sometimes approve overnight vacations.

How do I pick a foster/adopt agency

Ask other foster families!

Interview the agency:

  1. What is your verification process? (the shortest training is often a red flag!)  You need training and if they are speeding people through training it often means they have ill equipped families.
  2. Do you teach us about trauma and give us practical tools to help the children we may serve heal?
  3. How do you support your foster families?
  4. How many disruptions (families asked for a foster child to be moved) have you had in the past 3 years?  (this is often very telling of how well the agency is training and supporting their families and making good matches of children into their foster homes)
  5. Do you go to court with me?
  6. Are you a faith based agency? (if this is important part for your family)
  7. Do you help us find babysitters, respite providers or connect us with support groups?
  8. How long have your staff been at the agency?  (high turnover is also often a red flag)
  9. How long does it take to get verified? (typical is 2-4 months)

Do i need to be an American citizen to offer foster care in my home?

Interested families must have a Social Security Number.

What behaviors might I anticipate from a child removed from their family?

The common denominator for children in care is grief and loss, even when removed from very difficult and abusive circumstances. Additionally, children in care may also face emotional and psychological challenges as they try to adjust to new and often changeable environments. Children may exhibit signs of depression, aggression, fears, or withdrawal. It is important to be attuned to the child’s behaviors. Many services and supports are available to help you and the children.

What is a background check and will I be FBI fingerprinted?

Background checks and FBI fingerprinting are meant to protect children.  You will have to have a background check and FBI fingerprinting, as does any person living in the home over the age of 14.

What is a home study?

A home study is time spent in your home with the licensing worker. The study asks a lot of personal questions, but helps make sure that foster children will be taken good care of in your home and also helps the licensing worker find out what type of child would do well in your home. The home study helps both you and the worker understand issues that may impact your parenting style and skills. It is an important tool and most valuable to you if you embrace it as an opportunity for self-reflection. The study is done in private and all information is kept confidential.

What is the purpose of taking my foster child to visitations with their biological parents?

The primary goal of short term foster care is family reunification, whenever possible. The main goal of a family visit is for the child and birth parent to ultimately be reunified. Visitation allows social workers a glimpse into the family dynamic and the opportunity to see what is working and what is not working as a family unit. The workers can then make plans for change. Visits also allow for the parent to see that their child is being taken care of and for the child to see that their mom or dad is okay as well.

What support exists for foster parents?

A variety of supports are generally available. These range from Support/Resource Groups and sharing with others on the same journey, mentor programs, engaging with family and friends, utilizing clinical supports and interventions such as therapists, case managers, in home services, etc. Please check with your social worker to determine the best needs and supports for your child. It is strongly recommended that a support program be put together for a child in a thoughtful and proactive fashion…especially if the child has been in care previous to joining your family. 


If I foster a child can I still adopt?

Yes! If a child’s parental rights have been terminated by a judge, that child can be adopted. Current foster families are asked first.  Other individuals interested in adopting must foster the child for 6 months before they can petition to adopt.

Can I adopt a waiting child without becoming a foster parent?

No, you have to foster a child for 6 months even if their parent’s parental rights have been terminated.  So, you must be a verified foster family to adopt.

Are there children waiting to be adopted now?

Yes!  There are over 800 children in our area waiting for a forever family.  You can meet some of the waiting children at: https://www.dfps.texas.gov/application/TARE/Search.aspx/Children

How long does it take for the adoption process to finalize?

After fostering the child for 6 months and petitioning the courts to adopt, the process can take 2-6 months for the state to complete.

Connect with The Alliance

Let the Alliance be your guide and help you get the support you need.