A Piece of the Foster Care Puzzle

Web-Autism-PuzzleBefore I started working at Family to Family, foster care was not an area I was knowledgeable about. I did not know what the children, the biological parents, and the foster parents had to go through when working with the Texas child welfare system; Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. As the months passed by, I have been trying to make sense of how all the puzzle pieces fit together in order to achieve the end goal of providing a safe and nurturing environment for children who have been removed from their homes. I have found that the whole process from start to end is a systemic process with specific requirements in which all parties involved are subjected to. These policies may seem extensive; however these requirements are for the safety and well-being of the children. Individuals and families who are willing to jump into the process and open their homes to children are needed in Texas. According to research conducted by the Administration on Children, Youth, and Families, the number of children in the foster care system has declined between 2002 and 2012. Unfortunately, Texas was not one of the leading states in the nation to contribute to that number; in fact, Texas was one of the few whose numbers increased substantially. There are thousands of children in Texas who have survived abuse and neglect and are in need of a caring home.  I’ve come to understand that my role in the whole process as a foster care case manager is to place a child in a caring home with one of our foster families and ensure the child’s safety and well-being. We, the foster care department at Family to Family, train, educate, and verify families and individuals to become foster homes. We are the link that connects the child to the home, but without the families who open their homes to the children, we would not be able to move forward. If you have ever been a foster family to relative or non-relative children, I’d like to thank you for the nurture, support, love, structure, and guidance you provide to foster children. I look forward to continuing to educate myself and the community of the needs and issues that arise for the children and families who are a piece of the foster care puzzle.

Thank you,

Adrianna Linares

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