HOUSTON - Local agencies are working to end the foster care crisis in our community by hosting virtual sessions to get residents informed and signed up to be foster parents.
Thousands of Texas children and teens are in dire need of good foster homes, hundreds of those children are in Harris County. However, there’s a struggle to find adequate homes for them, especially for those over the age of eight, because any people hesitant to take on older children and teens.
"It is scary. There’s a lot of challenging pieces, but with the appropriate skills and resources that come with going through a private agency, you have the tools and resources needed in order to be successful at foster parenting," said Stephanie Barron.
Barron is the supervising case manager for Presbyterian Children’s Home and Services, she says a part of the problem is that most foster parents are only looking to foster young children ages four and under, with hopes of adopting.
"A lot of times these families do struggle with infertility, and most of the time, they’re looking to add children to their family who are young, so they can get those experiences," said Barron.
Foster agencies say they can’t stress enough the importance of providing safe homes for older children and teens. They're also reminding the public that the purpose of foster care is to help a child until they can be placed back with their biological family.
"It’s really important that we have foster families that are able to provide temporary homes where these children can receive stability, love, and nurturing care while their parents are working toward reunification" she said.
Rose Riggs is a supervisor with CPS, who was also placed in foster care when she was a teenager. On Friday morning, she spoke at the DFPS annual Child Abuse Prevention Month press conference.
She shared what it meant to her and what it means to older foster children to find a loving home.
"You grow up in this world where abuse, and drugs and dysfunction and all of that is normal; and then you're placed in this family that hugs you, and it’s not uncomfortable" said Riggs.
For people interested in fostering or who just have questions about how a foster child would fit into their family, Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services is making it convenient to access information and ask questions through virtual sessions. Click here to learn more: Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services (PCHAS)