Understanding Foster Care
When children can’t safely live at home, the court can give temporary legal possession to Child Protective Services (CPS). CPS assigns a case worker to the children and then the immediate goal is to find a safe home for the children to live while the biological parents work to get their rights back. These temporary places could be:
- Foster family homes
- Residential group care facilities
- Facilities overseen by another state agency
In 2017 alone, over 19,000 children were removed from their unsafe homes in Texas, resulting in about 28,000 kids in foster care currently. Just in the greater San Antonio area there are about 4,400 foster children. But there are not enough homes in Bexar County for these precious kids. So what happens? One of every five children (20%) are sent away, breaking up the family even further. So there's the great need. We need more safe, loving homes to place these kids.
Foster care is meant to be temporary until the parents demonstrate they can safely care for their children. However, it can become permanent if the court determines parental rights should be terminated and the children become legally free for adoption.
Foster parents are typically the natural choice for the permanency provided through adoption. But it's an uncertain road that you must be prepared for.
4KIDS Is Ready To Help
We see the need and we partner with you to answer the call. Through 4KIDS’ training and verification of families, we are able to place children in your safe, loving home. Knowing that God “sets the lonely into families” (Psalm 68:6), 4KIDS feels called to provide foster care services to kids in crisis by:
- Recruiting, training, and verifying foster families
- Facilitating excellent matches of children and families
- Providing continuing education and support for foster families
- Helping develop care communities to support each 4KIDS foster family
- Assisting area churches in developing Foster/Adopt Ministries
STEPS TO FOSTER
In order to become a foster family, there are several steps you must take. For those just beginning to consider foster care, we encourage you to at least attend the first training class which is our orientation where we cover all the basics, take your questions, and get to know each other. Soon, we'll be like family!
Steps to foster/adopt include:
- Fill out an inquiry. This is step one and lets us contact you with your next step.
- Attend training. There are several classes that are required to get you prepared.
- Prepare your home, family and care community. Get support in place.
- 4KIDS will complete a detailed home study for your family. This essentially serves as your profile to CPS.
- Verification. Once you complete all the steps, be ready to receive a child any day!
4KIDS of South Texas is dedicated to ensuring that children in need have excellent care and stable housing. Our goal is to provide quality supervision, care and support – physical, emotional, social, and spiritual – for children in the foster care system. In order to achieve this objective, 4KIDS recruits and accepts applications from qualified, mature adults interested in fostering and adopting children in the care of Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (TDFPS).
To become a 4KIDS foster/adopt parent, you must meet the following qualifications:
- Be at least 25 years of age
- Be a legal resident of the United States
- Have a clean criminal record for at least five years and no history of abusing children
- Have a high school diploma/GED
- Have been married, divorced, widowed or single for at least one year
- Be gainfully employed and financially stable with monthly income more than expenses
- Have a driver’s license, auto insurance and dependable transportation
- Complete the Foster/Adopt Parent Application Process and submit all necessary documents
- Complete approximately 35 classroom hours of pre-service training
- Become certified and maintain certification in CPR and First Aid
- Your home must pass health and fire inspections
- Have a bedroom of at least 80 square feet for one child or 40 square feet per child if sharing a room
- Be willing to abide by a policy of no physical discipline
- Pass a Home Study Assessment
- Maintain annual training requirements of 30 hours/year for each parent
- Be a responsible, mature adult capable of meeting the needs of children in care
- Demonstrate a lifestyle that embraces the basic tenets of the Christian faith, including involvement in a local church
Foster families are, in effect, local missionaries. By accepting a child into their home, they also open their door to caseworkers, CASA volunteers, birth families, therapy team members, school teachers, medical professionals and others. They have the opportunity to share the tangible love of Christ in hurting places. By ministering as foster/adopt families, you are contributing to the sharing of the gospel of Jesus Christ -- the HOPE of the world!