How long does it take to become licensed as a foster/adoptive parent in Texas?
Licensed Foster/Adoptive Care
The amount of time it takes to become a licensed foster parent depends primarily on how motivated the agency and/or worker actually is. The other component is how motivated the prospective foster/adoptive parent is.
Passion is important. The extent to which the worker performs can be directly related to this. On the other hand, the worker may also be bogged down by agency red tape or institutionalization.
I have been around other agencies and personnel as well. Unfortunately not many appear to be as motivated as they could be. Cynicism is another part of it. Often, as time progresses, cynicism creeps in and older, more traditional Child Placing Agencies see more people not complete the process or give up too easily. The mindset is: "We'll see if they're really committed, time will tell."
The truth is (in Texas) you can be licensed rather quickly if you find the right agency and the right personnel. I generally tell my families that if they are highly motivated, I can get them licensed within a month. This includes them cooperating and turning in all the required paperwork, getting their health and fire inspections in a timely manner, and cooperating with other training requirements.
What Training is Required?
The State of Texas requires a minimum of 17 hours of Pre-Service Training. There are many different kinds. A widely accepted training curriculum is called PRIDE.
In my agency, we require 25 hours of training. We work to accommodate schedules but will typically do a Tuesday evening, Saturday track that lasts two and a half weeks. Additionally, state law requires training on blood born pathogens, CPR/First Aid, eight hours of Behavior Intervention (often included in PRIDE training).
These 25 hours include mandatory components like: Planning for Disaster training, Shaken Baby Syndrome, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Sexual Abuse, CPS policy and practice, Medical Consent Training, Dealing with sexual abuse, understanding the need for family continuity, separation and loss, and so on.
(used car salesman)
The Purpose of Training: To make an informed decision about whether or not you want to become a foster/adoptive parent.
You should never let any person or agency try to force or manipulate you into taking a child that you don't feel like you can handle. If someone tries to do this, be sure and stand your ground (especially when you're starting out). Think carefully about the age, gender and race of the child you would feel comfortable with in your home. How would your extended family feel about your decision? It's important to know your limitations (as well as you're able) and to think about your own children (if you have any). Sometimes children who have been sexually abused may act out sexually and in almost every situation they will likely have understandable anger issues which can produce significant tantrums. They desperately need healing and the right to get some of that anger out of their system.
Thank you for taking the time to read this hub. My prayer is that it will clarify some questions you may have had about the foster/adoptive licensure process. I have the deepest respect for anyone who desires to make a positive difference in the life of a previously abused/neglected child.