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Foster parents are needed in Central Texas. Here's how to become one

Foster homes are meant to be temporary places for children in foster care to stay and feel comforted while their biological parents work to gain back full custody.

AUSTIN, Texas — The month of May kicks off National Foster Care Awareness Month, a time to learn more about how we can better care for some of the most vulnerable young people in our community. 

Here in Central Texas, there remains a great need for foster parents. Cristal Maldonado with Foster Community said foster homes are meant to be temporary places for children in foster care to rest and feel comforted during the hard time away from their parents.

"It's giving the biological parents their chance to follow these service plans because we want these kids to stay with their families. We know how important that is. We want them to stay in the community. We don't want them to have to leave because we know that can be traumatic," Maldonado said. "So we just value foster parents, and we want more of them."

Once a biological parent's rights are terminated, either by their own doing or by the State of Texas, that's when the fostering process can transition into the adoption process. 

Maldonado said to get started, she recommends attending a virtual information session with Foster Community. The organization holds the sessions virtually, twice a month, typically on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 

"The process, on average, takes around three months," Maldonado said. "It depends how quickly you move through the steps."

RELATED: How to host a Forever Families shoot for a child in Texas foster care

She said you can expect some out-of-pocket costs for required training and things like that. She also said to expect to share a lot about your personal life and home life.

Learn more about how to become a foster parent in Central Texas.

Catch this full story on KVUE Midday on Friday at 11 a.m.

RELATED: Young girl wants a forever family by her side before she takes on middle school

KVUE launched the Forever Families segment with Partnerships for Children (PFC) in June 2020 to highlight children in the Heart Gallery of Central Texas who need secure and permanent families. Every day, there are nearly 1,000 children waiting to get adopted in Central Texas, according to PFC.

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Editor's noteThe children who are in the Heart Gallery program and featured in KVUE's Forever Families segments are children who have had every effort made on their behalf to connect them with family or others in their community to provide options for permanent, adoptive homes. Through no fault of their own, that hasn’t happened yet, and so in partnership with the Department of Family and Protective Services, we collaborate to bring awareness to KVUE viewers about these children in the hopes of finding them permanency before they age out.

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