There are five primary ways to intervene on behalf of foster children and families in Houston: foster care, adoption, foster family support, mentoring teens, and mentoring biological families.
Please scroll down for more information.
Temporarily open your home to children in need.
There are thousands of foster children in Houston and its surrounding counties. Each of these children has experienced trauma, and they need caretakers who know how to lovingly begin the healing process. Due to a shortage of foster families, many Houston-area children live in group homes or emergency shelters, sometimes even sleeping in CPS offices.
Of the children who are placed within a home, about 50% are placed in homes outside Harris County, which highlights the fact that Houston desperately needs more foster families. But more than that, Houston needs foster families who are well-trained and rightly motivated. When foster families lack training and/or adequate support, it can result in failed placements. Most children in foster care move homes on at least three separate occasions, which tends to compound their trauma.
Permanently welcome children into your family.
In foster care, the restoration and reunification of a biological family is always the priority. However, reunification is not always possible. In such cases, foster children need to be adopted. There are 700+ children in the Houston area currently awaiting adoption. Many are sibling groups or children over the age of 5.
Adopting through the foster care system is inexpensive, and most adopted children are granted access to ongoing resources and benefits to help them heal and thrive. There are a variety of stigmas surrounding foster care adoption (foster kids are problem kids, they come with too much baggage, etc.). But the truth is that all children can reach dramatic levels of healing, no matter their age or current circumstances. Trauma-informed parenting is a key competency that can help you to connect with children, and we’d love to help you get trained!
Foster Family Support
Strengthen a foster family's support system.
We want to reproduce healthy, well-equipped foster families across the city of Houston. To do this, we first want to ensure that current foster families are well-supported by their communities. Foster families do not thrive in isolation, but they don’t always know how to ask for help.
So how can you help?
Get certified to babysit foster children. At minimum, foster care babysitters must be background checked, fingerprinted, and CPR certified, which makes it difficult for foster families to find the help they need. Click here to get certified to babysit.
Be a good friend. Foster families are walking through dark and difficult things, and it helps to have a strong friendships. Commit to offering spiritual and emotional support. Offer to attend court hearings with the family. And most importantly, pray for them and pray with them.
Offer practical assistance. Donate cribs, car seats, diapers, or clothing. Organize a meal train or buy groceries. Mow the lawn or help out around the house. In short, surround them with a team of support! Click the button below to download our Foster Family Profile, which will help you know how best to help.
Be a role model, advocate and friend to foster teens.
Over 200 teenagers age out of the Harris County foster care system each year. These aged-out teens are among the most vulnerable, marginalized, helpless, and “at risk” human beginnings in our city. Many end up pregnant, homeless, incarcerated, or even trafficked.
These outcomes can be prevented when loving support systems are in place. Healthy, consistent relationships are necessary to help teenagers in the foster care system to break the cycle and navigate life. There are a number of ways to become a mentor.
Mentoring Biological Families
Provide support toward family reunification.
When the State intervenes and a family is separated, it’s always tragic (even if the separation is temporary). Along with their children, biological parents have experienced trauma (in fact, many foster children have parents who were also once in foster care). Biological parents need communities who are willing to support and guide them toward stability, restoration, and reunification with their children. This type of mentoring may include family counseling, crisis intervention, parenting classes, substance abuse treatment, etc.
Reunification is always the priority in foster care, but this is difficult work. To be honest, few resources are offered by the State in order for families to get the help they need to be restored. At Fostering Family, we are always on the lookout for partner organizations who are working hard for the restoration of biological families.