HOW IT WORKS
YOU CAN BECOME A FOSTER PARENT
It all begins with a careful screening in order to ensure that each foster parent applicant can effectively meet the physical, cultural, emotional and spiritual needs of the children in their care. Once it’s determined that foster care is a right fit for you and your family, we will provide all the training and licensing required by the state. We also go out of our way to match the right child with the right family, so that the foster care experience is a positive one for all involved.
As part of the TGIF family, you’ll be a vital team member helping make important decisions about a child’s life. You’ll work alongside your Foster Care Specialist and Child Protective Services, to ensure that the health, educational, recreational and therapeutic needs of the child in your care are met. You’ll have access to a wide range of helpful resources, the result of almost a century of service to children and families. In our efforts to protect children and preserve families, we know your success is critical. So we provide all the tools and support you need to become a professional caregiver who is constantly learning and improving.
What does it take?
Becoming a foster parent is a process, and it begins with you. You must first determine if this is something that is right for you. We can assist you in this important evaluation process, but ultimately you will have to determine if foster care is a good fit for your family. A great first step in this process is deciding whether you meet the qualifications.
Foster Parenting Qualifications:
Because the role of foster care parent is so important, the following qualifications must be met before you can even be considered as a candidate:
• Capacity to love and nurture children
• Can be married, single or divorced
• High School Diploma or GED
• 21 years old or older
• Legal US resident
• Texas Driver’s license, proof of insurance and dependable vehicle
• Must have a working telephone
• In good or well-managed health
• Maintain financial self-sufficiency
• Have adequate sleeping space
• Stability – No major transitions within the last year
• Demonstrate an open and accepting attitude of persons from different cultures, family backgrounds and life experiences with openness to long-term and short-term care
The state of Texas does require licensing for both full-time or respite foster parenting, but we will walk alongside you through the entire process. The requirements for licensing, while not overly complicated, are extensive and include:
• Application and orientation to the agency
• Criminal background, child abuse history and fingerprint checks
• Reference checks
• Good health statements, including a cleared drug and TB screen
• Vaccinate all pets annually
• Fire and health inspections of your home
• 30 hours of pre-service training
• Eight hours of observation with an experienced foster/adoptive parent or at a licensed residential facility
• Home study
• Maintain annual training requirements
The TGIF Foster Care Staff are prepared to assist you throughout the entire licensing process, which can take from two to four months depending on the following:
• The timing of the pre-service training and your availability (contact our Foster Home Developer/Recruiter at 817.561.4149/ 855.948.0500 toll-free or email us at , or go to our contact page for information on the next pre-service class)
• Your success in gathering family records that are required in order to complete the home study process
• The readiness of your family and the timing of your decision
What are my options?
There are two options available to you as a TGIF Child and Family Services foster care parent. You can choose to provide full-time foster care or you can opt to become a part-time foster parent, offering what we commonly refer to as respite care. Respite care is designed to provide full-time licensed foster parents with much-needed breaks from the daily requirements of their job. As an approved respite care provider, you will be the full-time foster parent’s first line of defense against burnout; providing reliable, professional care for their foster children whether they need a night off or few days away to deal with a family emergency.
The qualifications and licensing are the same for both full- and part-time foster parenting. Respite care simply allows you to participate at a level that better fits your schedule.
How much does it cost?
When you apply to become a foster parent through TGIF, there are some costs that you might incur, from your licensing to all required training, as well as TB and drug testing, updating vaccinations for your pets or taking a trip to the physician so that they can verify your health status.
What is TGIF’s coverage area?
We can license foster parents throughout the DFW Metroplex, Houston, Longview/Tyler and Beaumont Texas. We want our licensed foster parents to be located close enough to our offices so that we are able to assist them throughout their foster care experience, providing timely help for everything from everyday issues to crisis situations.
What kind of support can I expect?
Foster parenting is hard work, and at TGIF we believe in making your job as easy as possible by providing a wide array of helpful services. Our staff of highly trained professionals can unleash the resources to make your experience successful. Our professional foster care team is ready to assist you around the clock, providing support, insight, and resources that will assist you in making you foster parenting experience enjoyable. We are licensed by the state of Texas, and we strive to provide you with the support you need. We also provide training before children are placed in your home and we have professionals on staff that can give you ongoing support.
What’s the next step?
If you think being a foster parent might be right for you, follow the directions below to begin the application process. If you have additional questions or would simply like to talk to someone from the TGIF staff, call us at 817.561.4149 or toll free at 855.948.0500.
• Download and complete the Foster/Adoptive Parent Application
• Complete the Contact Form on our contact page to receive a return call
• Email our recruiter for details about our next orientation or pre-service class:
Is TGIF a religious organization?
While we are not affiliated with any specific religious denomination and receive no funding as part of our budget from any religious organization, TGIF has been nourished by its roots in the Christian faith and believes that faith relationships and faith communities can be a vital source of support for children and families. We do not require our foster care parents to be members of or active in a specific denomination or faith community. Yet we do acknowledge the positive benefits that spiritual connections can play in raising a child.