Foster Homes in Texas Law
Although most states prefer to place children in need of parents with relatives, many times children in need of assistance must be placed with agencies that provide child care 24 hours a day or with adoptive parents.
Foster care in the state of Texas must comply with both state and federal legislation.
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services may set minimum standards for the operations of foster homes.
In order to qualify for a foster care program a provider must be at least 21 years of age. They can be married or single but must be willing to attend pre-service training and participate in a home study. They must also undergo a criminal background check.
Prospective foster parents must agree to nonphysical discipline policies and permit fire, health and safety inspections of their home. All pets within the home must be vaccinated and the providers must to obtain and maintain CPR and first aid certification.
There can be no more than six children in a home including the foster parents own children, or any children for whom day care is provided.
Federal legislation requires that states must coordinate with local educational entities to ensure that children remain in their original school after removal unless for some reason it is not in the child's best interest to do so. The federal law overrides local school district residence or attendance policies that would otherwise force foster children out of their original school.
The states must also ensure that foster children of school age are enrolled in school. Furthermore, federal legislation expands the definition of foster care maintenance payments to include paying for reasonable travel to the child's original school.
According to federal law states must also develop plans for ongoing oversight and coordination of healthcare services for any child in foster care. These programs must ensure oversight of prescription medication and include schedules for initial and follow-up health screenings as well as provisions for how medical information is updated and appropriately shared.
John Q. Lawyer
Attorney at Law
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