Foster parents play a fundamental role in providing temporary, safe, and nurturing homes to children when their parents or caregivers are unable to care for them. Please consider becoming a foster parent.
Why are children placed in foster care?
Children are placed in foster care either by a court order or because their parents or caregivers are willing to have them cared for outside of the home.
Children who have been placed in care by the court have been abused, neglected or exploited (or may be at-risk for abuse, neglect or exploitation) by his or her parent, household member or caregiver. The court will order the child to be removed from the home and determines the length of placement for the child.
A parent or caregiver may place a child in care when they are temporarily unable to care for the child for reasons other than abuse, neglect or exploitation.
Role of a foster parent:
As a foster parent with Caring Hearts for Children (CHFC), you are responsible for providing safe, temporary care and nurturing of the child who has been placed outside of his or her home. During this time of disruption and change, you are giving the child a home. At the same time, your role includes working with CHFC staff, the child’s managing conservator, the child’s treatment team, as well as the child’s family so that the child can return home safely, when appropriate.
The role of a foster parent is to:
- Provide temporary care for children, giving them a safe, stable, and nurturing Christian environment;
- Help each child cope with the separation from his or her home, family, friends, school, and environment;
- Provide guidance, structure, discipline, a good example, and as many positive experiences as possible;
- Cooperate with the child’s managing conservator and family in carrying out the permanency plan, which includes participating in the plan;
- Cooperate with CHFC in carrying out the child’s service plan, which also includes participating in the plan;
- Understand the need for, and goals of family visits;
- Encourage and supervise school attendance, participate in parent-teacher conferences, and keep CHFC staff and the child’s managing conservator informed about any special educational needs;
- Work with CHFC in arranging and transporting for the child’s regular and/or special medical or dental care;
- Work with CHFC in arranging and transporting the child to therapy and family visits; and
- Inform CHFC promptly about any problems or concerns so that each child’s needs may be met through available services.
Requirements to become a foster parent:
Caring Hearts for Children (CHFC) is licensed by and contracts with Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS); therefore CHFC and foster homes licensed through CHFC are subject to standards set by state laws and regulations governing child-placing agencies.
All applicants and household members fourteen (14) years of age or older must complete a criminal history and central registry check. These checks will determine if a person has any criminal or abuse and neglect history, and if their presence is a risk to the health or safety of children placed in care.
The prospective foster home will be evaluated by CHFC foster home development staff to ensure the home will meet basic physical, health and safety requirements. Foster home development staff will visit with each prospective foster parent in the home and will collect detailed information about each applicant as well as other household members and potential caregivers for children placed in the home. Discussion with prospective foster parents may include, but is not limited to:
- Experience with raising and working with children;
- Experience with issues of child abuse or neglect;
- Awareness of the potential influence that foster parenting may have on the prospective foster parents, household members and the family’s current lifestyle;
- Awareness of providing children with a temporary, safe, and nurturing Christian environment;
- Approach to discipline as well as discipline methods; and
- Ability and interest in being a partner with the child’s treatment team.
Applicants applying to become foster parents with (CHFC) must be in compliance with the following criteria to become approved and licensed:
- Age: Each prospective foster parent must be twenty-one (21) years of age or older.
- Marital Status: Prospective foster parents must be married, divorced or widowed at least one year prior to becoming a foster parent, or single.
- Health: All members of the household must be in good physical and mental health and free from communicable diseases.
- Employment: Employment outside of the foster home is recommended for at least one foster parent; however, if both foster parents work outside of the home there must be plans for care and supervision for children placed in the home at all times, including after school, school holidays and during summer.
- Character: Each prospective foster parent must provide CHFC with the names of three individuals who may be contacted for references.
- Training: Applicants must complete required trainings to become a foster parent. These trainings are free and taught by our experienced foster home developers.
Contact us and one of our experienced staff members will talk with you and answer your questions about becoming a foster parent. Your home is required to become licensed prior to children being placed. At this time we will also discuss our “actual” process with you. CHFC will provide step-by-step instructions for becoming licensed. We also provide free foster parent training and in-home visits at your convenience, prior to licensure. Our goal is to equip you will all the tools possible so that you can become a successful foster parent.
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