Texas Foster Care FAQs

Frequently Asked Foster Care Inquiry Questions

TFI offers services anywhere within 150-mile radius of our five (5) Texas locations:  Irving, Abilene, Lubbock, New Braunfels, and Tyler.

You must be 21 or older. If you are applying with a partner/spouse, they must also be 21 years old. You need to live in at least a two bedroom residence. Must be able to pass a background check. You must be able to meet your personal financial obligations/expenses without foster care reimbursement.

It does not cost to apply with TFI. During the process to become verified, you may incur fees. However, this should be minimal. Once you are verified, TFI is generally able to reimburse you for many of these expenses.

TFI does provide a daily pass-through rate for each child placed in a foster home. The amount of that rate depends on the behavioral, developmental, and other needs of each child. These pass-through rates are not “payments,” but are reimbursements for the costs associated with caring for foster children.

We recommend you wait until your move is finalized. If you are moving to Texas from another state, you must wait to apply until you are living in Texas. If you move midway through the verification process, it could cause unnecessary delays or you could move to a part of Texas not served by TFI.

You may be single, married, divorced, or widowed. However, if you have had a life change in the last 12 months you may be required to wait a short period of time. TFI reviews life changes on a case-by-case basis.

Background checks are run on every foster parent applicant who wishes to work with TFI. Some criminal charges are automatic barriers to being verified as a foster parent in the State of Texas. Some criminal charges require additional steps. Every person’s criminal background check is reviewed individually and the appropriate steps are taken.

To become a verified foster parent, you must complete pre-service training hours.  These are taught through both interactive classroom education and through independent online study.  A training plan will be created for you upon acceptance of your application to foster.

Usually a child enters the foster care system because of a breakdown in the family home, which makes the home an unsuitable place for the child to live. Other times, a child may be placed in foster care because of physical or emotional challenges that the birth parents are unable to manage. It is important to remember that children enter the foster care system through no fault of their own and have been adjudicated as being abused and/or neglected by the people who are supposed to provide a loving, safe home for them.

Yes. You will receive a call from our intake office for any child needing placement. They will read you a referral about the child and his/her behaviors. You and your family will be able to make an informed decision regarding bringing that child to your home.

Most foster care placements are temporary. The majority of children return to their own families once the family’s issues have been resolved. There is no set time period because every case is different.

It is possible that foster families could have contact with the biological families of children placed in their homes. This is handled based on the individual preferences of the foster family and can be discussed with your assigned Foster Care Case Manager.

You will contact the case manager TFI assigned to your home between 8am-5pm. 24-hour on call support is provided to your family during non-working hours. You will be provided with a contact number for the local on-call Case Manager to help you through the crisis you are experiencing.

A foster child may share a room with another foster child or biological children so long as the children are the same gender. There are some exceptions to this.

This is done by exception and is not a regular TFI practice.

TFI attempts to get to know the foster parents and will provide information about the child prior to placement in order to create a good environment for both. If the family unit begins to struggle, TFI will try to set up interventions and will work closely with you to help rectify any issues. In most situations, it’s important to remember that foster parents are required to give 30 days’ notice before a child can be removed from their home.

Yes, TFI does have an adoption contract with the State of Texas and can assist foster families with completing adoptions of foster children.

This is permitted with the appropriate approvals from the State of Texas and, in some instances, the Courts.

Generally, the child will go to school in the district where your home is located.

The State of Texas provides daycare assistance for many foster children so long as all caregivers in the home meet the employment requirements.

Appropriately vaccinated and safe pets are quite welcome in foster homes.

While firearms and other weapons are permitted in foster homes, there are requirements as to the safe storage of firearms, weapons, and ammunition.

Of course, provided these adults are not infringing on the space intended to be used for the foster child’s bedrooms. It’s important to note that all household members 14 years old and older are required to complete local and federal Background Checks and must complete Tuberculosis screenings prior to residing in the home or the home being verified.

As a foster parent, you must provide the child the opportunity to attend a church of their preference or provide alternate care for the foster child.

You just have to have a valid, government-issued photo ID to apply. However, TFI does require that you apply for and receive a Texas-issued photo identification as soon as possible.

You must be residing in the United States legally in order to be a foster parent. This can be either through citizenship or, in some cases, a permanent residency status.

Yes, all foster children will have health insurance provided by the State of Texas.

Foster children may be cared for by a babysitter, another foster parent, or other caregivers.  In some cases, these caregivers may be required to submit to Background Checks prior to assisting with care for foster children.