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Foster and adoption meeting attendance in Central Texas up 36%, State says

A total of 1,558 people attended a meeting last year, marking a 36% increase over 2019, and the highest number of participants in the past five years.

TEXAS, USA — The amount of people taking their first step toward becoming a foster or adoptive parent in Central Texas increased by more than a third year-over-year, according to data provided by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS).

People taking the path to becoming foster or adoptive parents hold multiple meetings before taking children into their care. The meetings are a required first step to becoming a foster or adoptive parent, according to DFPS.

In 2020, 1,558 people attended a meeting, marking a 36% increase over 2019, DFPS said. It was also the highest number of participants in the past five years. Here is a year-by-year breakdown:

  • 2020: 1,558
  • 2019: 1,147
  • 2018: 1,103
  • 2017: 1,012
  • 2016: 1,120

Shifting to virtual meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to the record-breaking numbers, DFPS officials said. DFPS staff held in-person meetings until mid-March of 2020, and halted meetings in April before shifting to web-based sessions in May.

As a result, 97 families applied to become foster or adoptive families with DFPS in Central Texas last year, up from 36 in 2019. DFPS said that, as of February, 16 families have already applied.  

“Being able to increase attendance the way we have highlights that people are interested in this and that we can build capacity so we have space and appropriate placements for children in need,” DFPS foster and adoption supervisor Catie Hammond said. 

Requirements to be prospective foster or adoptive parents

Prospective foster and adoptive parents may be single or married and must meet the following basic requirements:

  • Be at least 21 years of age, financially stable and responsible, mature adults
  • Complete an application (staff will assist you, if you prefer)
  • Share information regarding their background and lifestyle
  • Provide relative and non-relative references
  • Agree to a home study, which includes visits with all household members
  • Allow staff to complete a criminal history background check and and abuse/neglect check on all adults in the household
  • Attend free training to learn about issues of abused and neglected children

Upcoming DFPS virtual information meetings

For those interested in fostering or adopting a child, DFPS is holding four virtual information meetings in February: 

  • Tuesday, Feb. 9, 12 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 10, 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 17, 6 p.m.
  • Thursday, Feb. 18, 5:30 p.m.

Specific information on upcoming virtual meetings and links are available online here. More information is available on the DFPS foster and adoption line at 1-800-233-3405 or online at www.adoptchildren.org.

KVUE's Forever Families Series

KVUE’s Forever Families helps connect you to those kids. KVUE's Tori Larned has worked with the Central Texas Heart Gallery every week to learn about the children in the foster care system.

For more information, visit kvue.com/foreverfamilies.  

Visit the Forever Families YouTube playlist here.

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