April is Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month: How can you help.
As April is Child Abuse Prevention & Awareness Month, the question of; how can I help a child who has been a victim of abuse/neglect, is asked. And one way to help a child is to become a foster and or adoptive parent.
The first step in becoming a foster/adopt parent in the State of Texas is to attend a foster/adopt information meeting, due to COVID-19 precautions, those meetings over the last year have moved to an online format.
The free, no obligation meetings hosted by Department of Family of Protective Services/CPS, Foster Adoption Development caseworkers (FAD), where following a presentation on the various aspects of the foster/adoption process, there is an opportunity for attendees to ask questions about the process.
The basic requirements are listed below, along with the scheduled upcoming online meeting date(s).
The department also has a web site with additional detailed information at www.adoptchildren.org
- The prospective foster/adoptive parents may be single or married and must:
- be at least 21 years of age, financially stable, and responsible mature adults,
- complete an application (staff will assist you, if you prefer),
- share information regarding their background and lifestyle,
- provide relative and non-relative references,
- show proof of marriage and/or divorce (if applicable),
- agree to a home study which includes visits with all household members,
- allow staff to complete a criminal history background check and an abuse/neglect check on all adults in the household, and
- attend free training to learn about issues of abused and neglected children.
The training provides an opportunity for the family and DFPS to assess whether foster care or adoption is best for the family. The family may withdraw from the meetings at any time. There is no charge for the meetings. Foster/adoptive parents generally train together.
Additional Foster Care Requirements
- In addition to the basic requirements, foster parents must:
- have adequate sleeping space.
- allow no more than 6 children in the home including your own children or children for whom you provide day care.
- agree to a non-physical discipline policy.
- permit fire, health and safety inspections of the home.
- vaccinate all pets.
- obtain and maintain CPR/First Aid Certification.
- obtain TB testing as required by the local Health Department for household members.
- attend 20 hours or more of training each year.